Back Photo exhibition “The DAWN" on Ukrainian children who suffered under Russian bombardment and occupation opens in Strasbourg

Photo exhibition “The DAWN

A photo exhibition has opened today, 19 February, at the Council of Europe, illustrating what the dawn of a new life would look like for Ukrainian children whose homes, villages and towns have suffered under Russian bombardment and occupation.  Featuring pictures by French-Ukrainian photographer Youry Bilak, the exhibition has been brought to the Council of Europe by the Organisation’s Amicale.

At the official opening, Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge emphasised that when reflecting on the horror of the Russian Federation’s war of aggressing against Ukraine “for many of us, it is the suffering of Ukraine’s children that is most harrowing”.  Highlighting numbers that that illustrate their plight, he stressed the importance of never forgetting that “behind all these statistics are individual children whose lives have been destroyed and even taken as a direct result of Russia’s appalling crimes. Through this exhibition we meet just a few of these children.”

He added that “The DAWN” is a further reminder of what is at stake: “It is the future of Ukraine, but also the future of Europe and the future of a rules based international order. At the same time, we must ensure that Ukrainian children will grow up in a free, democratic, and vibrant Ukraine”.

The Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies, Ambassador Domenik Wanger, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, Ambassador  Borys Tarasiuk and the Permanent Representative of France,  Ambassador Pap Ndiaye also delivered opening remarks together with Yury Bilak. The Deputy Mayor of the city of Strasbourg, Ms Véronique Bertholle was also present.

The exhibition was opened to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine later this week. On 23 February 2024, a ceremony commemorating the anniversary will be held, followed by an extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Ministers.

 Speech by the Deputy Secretary General

Deputy Secretary General Strasbourg 19 february 2024
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