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Zelensky attended the Frankfurt book fair with Ukraine’s stars

At the world’s biggest book event, Ukrainian authors will be prominently featured, including “punk poet” Sergiy Zhadan. The Frankfurt Book Fair will take place from October 19-23, 2022.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver his speech via video link at the five-day fair, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of exhibitors. At a side event, his wife, Olena Zelenska, will speak as well.

Several prominent opponents of President Vladimir Putin have taken the place of Russian state institutions usually in charge of running the nation’s stand.

Juergen Boos, director of the fair, said: “Our fair has maintained close ties to the Ukrainian book industry for many years, and we are now offering direct support to our Ukrainian colleagues as they combat Russian aggression.”

Zhadan, a writer, translator, musician, and a key figure in Ukraine’s literary scene, will be among the highest-profile attendees. At the fair, the author will read his poems and be interviewed while focusing on humanitarian aid and supporting the Ukrainian army.

While several other prominent events have been planned around Ukrainian writers and publishers, the fair will also offer a platform to Russian dissidents and opponents of Putin.

Leonid Volkov, a leading ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and Irina Scherbakova, an activist from prominent rights group Memorial, will discuss the state of Russia’s opposition.

Popular Russian science fiction writer Dmitry Glukhovsky — recently labelled a “foreign agent” by Moscow and put on a wanted list after denouncing the war in Ukraine — will also be appearing.

The 2022 edition marks a return to near normal after “two difficult years” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s fair was muted with many authors participating only via video link. The 2020 fair was almost entirely digital.

There are no restrictions this year, but the number of countries represented — over 80 — is still lower than last year’s pre-pandemic fair.

Source: France 24