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‘Propaganda literature’: calls to close Mikhail Bulgakov museum in Kyiv

The Master and Margarita writer’s antipathy to Ukrainian nationalism has led to some demanding his old house be renamed or repurposed

In his novel The White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov painted an evocative portrait of his childhood home. Inside, there was a Dutch stove blazing with heat, a piano and a library, and cream-coloured curtains. The family’s first-floor apartment was located in “a two-storey house of strikingly unusual design”. In winter, the snow topping the roof resembled “a White general’s fur cap” – a reference to the anti-Bolshevik White movement.

But Bulgakov’s house in Kyiv is now at the centre of a bitter public dispute. In Soviet times it became a literary museum. Ukraine’s national writers’ union has called for the museum at number 13A Andriivskyi Descent – a historic cobbled street linking the upper town with the district of Podil, on the banks of the Dnipro River – to be closed down.

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