Choreographer Maksіm Chmerkovskiy voiced the destroyed Chernihiv regional youth center.
Youth is the driving force of society. The young generation holds decisions that are decisive in the future. It is imperative to allow young people to gain quality knowledge and develop. But this thought is foreign to the invaders who came to Ukrainian lands. Therefore, the destruction of the building of the Chernihiv Youth Center added to the russian’s “triumphant victories” list.
Maksіm Chmerkovskiy — is a Ukrainian-American Latin-ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He appears in season two of American television series Dancing with the Stars and he knows from his own experience what it is like to train hard and develop from childhood to achieve your goal and how important it is to have a place where you will be provided with conditions and support for this development. That is why he became the voice of the Chernihiv Regional Youth Center in the new video of the “Postcards from Ukraine” project.
About the Chernihiv Regional Youth Center:
Chernihiv Youth Center is an architectural monument officially opened on August 10, 1939. At that time, it was a Cinema named after Shchors — the best-equipped cinema hall in the city. However, it opened on the eve of World War II, and German troops almost destroyed it shortly after opening.
The cinema was rebuilt in 1947. The building had considerable architectural value, as it was one of the few examples of architecture from the 30s of the 20th century preserved in Chernihiv. Brick, 2-story, L-shaped building. The facade from the entrance side had a rounded corner. The symmetry of the front is accentuated by the 10-column portico of the central entrance. The entrance is topped with an attic. Along the central axis of the facade, a cylindrical volume rose above the roof. The front was decorated with pilasters. The ends of the building ended with gables.
“With its columns, pilasters ends with gables; it reminds me of my native city Odesa,” says Maksіm Chmerkovskiy in the video.
The building was reconstructed and changed several times from the post-war years to the period of Ukrainian Independence. Finally, after restoration in 2017, it was transformed from a cinema into the Chernihiv Regional Youth Center.
The slogan of the center is ‘All 4youth’. There, young people were helped to decide on their choice of profession. Lectures, festivals, and even rock concerts were held there. On 2500 sq.m. was created a space of free creativity that united and involved the young generation in the life of the community and the country, which it will continue to build.
On February 27, 2022, the invading russian forces destroyed the monument with a rocket attack. However, the walls can be destroyed, but not generations of freedom.
“Postcards from Ukraine” is a project of the Ukrainian Institute, which tells about destroyed monuments of Ukraine. With the support of USAID, a single database was created with about 100 monuments, where you can see the scale of the destruction and read the history of each monument in English and Ukrainian.
As of August 26, 492 episodes of war crimes against the cultural heritage of Ukraine were committed, according to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
The project team urges you to tell the world about the destruction of Ukrainian culture, distribute postcards on social networks and send them to your friends abroad so that the world learns the truth about how Russia is destroying the cultural heritage of Ukraine. Use the hashtag #PostcardsFromUkraine.