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872 cultural heritage sites suffered from Russian military aggression in Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, 23 sites of cultural heritage have been completely destroyed, 672 have been partially damaged, and the degree of damage to 177 more remains unknown.

Dome lies next to the ruined Church of the Holy Mother of God ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’
in Bohorodychne village, the Donetsk region.
By Mykhailo Palinchak

According to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, architectural monuments (279 objects), architecture and urban planning monuments (255 objects), and history sites (203 objects) suffered the most from Russian attacks.

In total, as a result of Russian military aggression, cultural heritage sites have been damaged or destroyed in 17 regions of Ukraine. The majority of them are in the Kharkiv region (216 sites), in the Odesa region (119 sites), and in the Donetsk region (111 sites).

Objects of the Ukrainian cultural heritage were also affected in the Kherson, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Luhansk, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Poltava, Zhytomyr, and Kirovohrad regions.

In particular, the Odesa National Fine Arts Museum, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, was damaged by a Russian missile attack on November 6, 2023, on the eve of the museum’s 124th birthday. Seven exhibitions featuring works by contemporary artists were affected. The walls of the architectural monument were also defaced, with some windows and glass broken.

On January 1, 2024, due to the Russian drone attack on Lviv, Roman Shukhevych Museum was destroyed. In particular, Roman Shukhevych’s memorabilia were lost as a result of the shelling: a table, chairs, a fotule, a piano, etc. Some items were found among the rubble, such as a bust of Roman Shukhevych.

After starting its illegal war against Ukraine, Russia has not only aimed at killing Ukrainian citizens but also set out to destroy Ukraine’s culture. According to the Introduction to The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. 14.05.1954, “damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind, since each person makes its contribution to the culture of the world”. 

Read more about Russia’s war crimes against Ukrainian culture & religion here