Since February, 492 Ukrainian cultural heritage sites and cultural institutions have fallen victim to Russian attacks and the number is rising.
Detailing the destruction, Kateryna Chuieva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy, said: “Ukraine has not faced such a scale of crimes against cultural heritage since World War II.”
Shelling by Russian forces has destroyed or damaged at least 140 objects of cultural heritage. Among them are 23 monuments of national importance, 110 monuments of local importance, 129 valuable historical buildings, and seven newly discovered items of cultural heritage.
In addition, Russian occupying forces have destroyed or damaged 368 other cultural sites or institutions. Among them are at least 166 religious buildings, 73 cultural centers, theaters, cinemas, and other centers of the arts, 52 memorial monuments, 45 libraries, and 35 museums, as well as significant items and areas in nature reserves.
“Today, religious buildings have suffered the greatest damage. The Russians have already completely destroyed or damaged at least 166 religious buildings. 53 of them are registered as architectural or historical monuments or urban planning monuments,” reported the Deputy Minister.
So far, such crimes have been recorded in 15 regions of Ukraine with the regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Luhansk ad Chernihiv suffering worst. In the city and environs of Mariupol alone, 93 buildings or monuments have been damaged or destroyed, while in and around Kharkiv the figure is 86.
79 significant monuments and buildings have been damaged or destroyed in Kyiv region – 52 of them in Buchansky district. The figure for Luhansk region is 57, almost all (52) of the cases are in Severodonetsk district.
Losses to historical and cultural heritage have also been recorded in the regions of Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr, Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Odesa, and Lviv
“Unfortunately, the statistics are not improving. Several dozen more cases are currently under investigation. Therefore, we urge everyone to continue sending information about the destruction of any items of cultural heritage, or about any sites that, in your opinion, are valuable from the point of view of history or culture, etc.,” added Kateryna Chuieva.
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