135 war crimes against cultural heritage recorded in Ukraine

135 war crimes against cultural heritage recorded in Ukraine

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine has recorded 135 episodes of Russian war crimes against cultural heritage in Ukraine.

"During the war, the Russian occupiers destroyed in fire a historic building of the Local History Museum in the village of Ivankiv in Kyiv region. An aviation bomb strike almost completely destroyed the building of the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol. The buildings of the Arkhip Kuindzhi Mariupol Art Museum and the Local History Museum in Okhtyrka, Sumy region, were damaged," reads the statement published on the Ministry’s website.

The building of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration was destroyed, the menorah monument at the Drobitsky Yar Holocaust memorial complex, and many other monuments were damaged as a result of the bombardment of Kharkiv.

“The list of Ukrainian cultural heritage sites destroyed and damaged by the Russian occupiers is endless. The invaders must be held accountable for all these atrocities. We call on Ukrainians to continue to help record Russian crimes on a national platform. However, it is also necessary to remember about personal safety as it comes first. All the information will be used as evidence of the crimes of the Russian Federation," notes Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko.

Religious buildings – 59 sites – suffered the most. Among them: churches of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, protestant houses of worship, mosques, synagogues.

In total, 58 monuments of architecture and urban planning were destroyed and damaged by the occupiers. Five of them are monuments of national importance. Twenty-five valuable historical buildings were damaged – ancient buildings of the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries, as well as ten memorial stelae or sculptures related to historical events.

Twelve museums and historical and architectural reserves, six theaters and cinemas, five libraries were damaged.

Crimes were recorded in ten regions and the city of Kyiv: 54 – in Kharkiv region, 22 – in Donetsk region, 16 – in Chernihiv region, 10 – in Kyiv region, 9 – in Luhansk region, 9 – in Sumy region, 5 – in Kyiv city, 4 – in Zaporizhzhia region, 4 – in Zhytomyr region, 1 – in Dnipropetrovsk region, 1 – in Kherson region.

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine underscores that the destruction of cultural heritage sites is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention.

"The Ministry continues to receive and verify the information about the crimes committed by the Russian army against cultural heritage in the territory of Ukraine. It remains a problem to obtain information from the temporarily occupied territories and areas of active hostilities," the Ministry emphasizes.

As reported, the Council of Europe will help Ukraine preserve its cultural heritage. This is stated in the Declaration on the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine adopted at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Culture.

The Declaration provides for the development, in cooperation with international organizations, of a capacity-building program for the preservation of the endangered movable, immovable, and intangible cultural heritage.

It also enshrines support for the affected artists, cultural heritage, creative professionals and scholars from Ukraine through cultural cooperation programs.


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