Authorities cut off power at a seminar on Ukraine in Hanoi

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Authorities cut off power at a seminar on Ukraine in HanoiAccording to Radio Free Asia, a group of Vietnamese intellectuals who had lived in Ukraine held a seminar at the Sena Institute of Technology Research in Hanoi.

A few minutes into a musical performance, power went off. Despite the blackout, the seminar continued.

“It was inconvenient in terms of comfort, but otherwise, the event went as planned. People still read poems, and a musician who was sitting in the corner still played his guitar passionately in the darkness. It was so touching,” said activist Dang Bich Phuong.

The seminar was attended by Ukraine's chargé d'affaires in Vietnam, Nataliya Zhynkina, and some Ukrainian students. Other participants reported being stopped by police before arriving at the venue.

This is not the first time that this kind of incidents occurs; in March, local authorities banned a fundraiser in support of victims in Ukraine.

Another charity event planned a few days later by a group of Ukrainians living in Vietnam was cancelled due to ongoing police harassment.

Speaking about the war, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said that “Vietnam does not choose sides, but chooses justice.”

In reality, the communist-ruled country has repeatedly refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has opposed US attempts to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

In early July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the first top Russian government official to visit Vietnam since the start of what the Russian Federation calls a “special military operation”.

Russia is Vietnam’s main arms supplier and bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$ 5.54 billion in 2021, up 14 per cent over the previous year.