MCIP recorded more than 350 russian war crimes against Ukraine’s cultural heritage

As of May 19, 2022, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine recorded 353 russian war crimes against cultural heritage of Ukraine. 

“Because of the actions of the russian army, all our cultural heritage is under the threat. On May 20, they deliberately shelled the house of culture in Lozova, Kharkiv region. This house was one of the largest in Kharkiv region and we have just restored it. The occupiers are destroying and looting our museums, churches and theaters. But they can not break our spirit. Our losses are the cultural losses of the world community. After all, Ukraine’s heritage is strongly connected with the European and world. I constantly repeat that destruction of any cultural heritage is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention. Strict liability is stipulated for such actions,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.  

The cultural heritage of Kharkiv region has suffered the most. 94 cases were recorded in this region, 78 of them – in the city of Kharkiv and nearby. 72 crimes have been recorded in Donetsk region, 52 of them-  in Mariupol. About 65 cases are known in Kyiv region, 37 – in Chernihiv, 24 – in Luhansk, 26 – in Sumy, 8 – in Zaporizhia, 6 – in Zhytomyr, 5 – in Kyiv and Kherson region. Also 4 cases are documented in Mykolaiv, 3 – in Dnipropetrovsk, 2 – in Odessa, 1 – in Lviv region. 

So far, the russians have damaged 116 cultural heritage sites in Ukraine. The constant shelling, rocket and bombings have destructed 21 monuments of national importance, 88 sites of local significance and 7 newly discovered cultural heritage sites. 

“Currently, the Ministry is aware of the destruction or damage by russians of 130 religious buildings, 49 of which are registered as monuments of history, architecture and urban planning. This is a purposeful action of the occupiers against Ukrainian spirituality. Barbarians do not spare Orthodox churches, Protestant houses of worship, mosques or synagogues,” said Kateryna Chujeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.  

Due to the criminal actions of the russian army, 42 memorials in honor of historical figures and events of the XIX – early XXI centuries, 27 buildings and complexes of museums and natural reserves, 66 buildings of cultural centers, theaters and libraries, as well as some other valuable historical objects were destroyed. 

We would like to remind, MCIP records war crimes of russians against the cultural heritage of Ukraine at the national platform culturecrimes.mkip.gov.ua. After all, it is very difficult to obtain information from the temporarily occupied territories and zones of active hostilities. At the same time, remember about your personal safety. 

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