War crimes of russians against the Ukrainian cultural heritage have reached alarming proportions

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine continues to record russian war crimes against cultural heritage. As of June 10, 2022, 388 cases have already been documented.

“The hatred with which  russians are destroying everything Ukrainian speaks only of their agony. Recently, the Sviatohirsk Lavra in the Donetsk region came under fire because of occupiers again. The All Saints Scete of the Sviatohirsk Lavra was on fire. In addition, except monks, there were about 300 refugees in the church, including the disabled, the elderly, and about 60 children, including infants. There is no doubt, we are dealing with a horde. Such crimes of the occupiers cannot destroy our identity, but on the contrary, they have only united Ukrainians. Today, the Ukrainian nation has gained a new superpower. We have our Heroes, we fight victoriously and defend our own. We have become stronger, and our victory will give us the opportunity to rebuild and restore everything,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Crimes of russians against cultural heritage have been recorded in 13 regions of Ukraine and in Kyiv. The number of recorded destructions of the cultural heritage of the Kharkiv region has increased. Currently, there are 97 cases, the most of them, 79, are in Kharkiv and nearby. In the Donetsk region 89 cases are recorded, 53 of them – in Mariupol. In the Kyiv region, 70 objects were affected, most of them – 44-  in the Bucha district. In the Chernihiv region 38 cases were recorded, in Luhansk and Sumy regions – 28. In addition, 12 cases are in the Zaporizhia region, 6 – in the Zhytomyr region, 5 – in Kyiv and Kherson regions, 4 – in the Mykolaiv region, 3 – in the  Dnipropetrovsk region, 2 – in the Odesa region, 1 – in the Lviv region.

Damaged objects have suffered various degrees of damage, in particular:

  • 173 objects are of slight degree of damage, and it is about 50 percent of registered cases in almost all regions of Ukraine, except Donetsk;
  • 123 objects are of medium degree, and it is up to 50 percent in the Donetsk region and 25-30 percent in Zaporizhia, Kyiv, Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions;
  • 58 objects are of severe degree of damage, it is up to 25 percent in the  Donetsk region and 10-15 percent in Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Kyiv regions.
  • 9 objects in Donetsk, Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv regions were completely destructed. The condition of 25 damaged objects remains unknown.

As a result of shelling, rocket and bomb attacks by russians in Ukraine, 119 cultural heritage sites were damaged and destructed. Among them there are 21 monuments of national importance, 91 – local importance and 7 – newly discovered cultural heritage sites.

“We continue to document and record in detail the crimes of russians against Ukrainian cultural heritage. This process is often complicated. Especially when it comes to the temporarily occupied territories, as well as places where active hostilities are taking place. I would like to emphasize that the destruction of cultural heritage is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention. Criminals will definitely be held accountable for their atrocities,” said Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. 

russian war criminals have destructed and damaged 142 religious buildings, 51 of which are registered as monuments of history, architecture and urban planning or valuable historical buildings. Religious buildings suffered the most from the occupiers’ actions.

So far, russians in Ukraine have destroyed 42 memorials in honor of historical figures and events of the XIX – early XXI centuries, 30 buildings and complexes of museums and natural reserves, 75 buildings of houses of culture, theaters and libraries, and damaged some other valuable historical buildings.

We would like to remind you that  information concerning crimes of russians in the territory of Ukraine continues to be received. MCIP specialists check and systematize the obtained data and publish them on a special website: https://culturecrimes.mkip.gov.ua/. We urge  you to join this process, while remembering your personal safety.

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