Ukraine records 400 instances of destruction of cultural heritage sites since war began

Approximately 400 cases of destruction or damage to Ukrainian heritage sites have been documented since the commencement of the Moscow-Kyiv war, stated the Cultural Ministry of the war-torn nation. According to Kyiv Independent, the ministry is using 3D printers to document the Ukrainian heritage sites, with the aim to preserve them. As the Russia-Ukraine war has entered its 114th day with heavy shelling on Ukrainian cities, experts in Ukraine have inspected two cultural sites in Chernihiv Oblast destroyed by Russian bombardment this week with the help of Latvia’s Culture Ministry and Riga Technical University. 

In addition to this, two sacred monuments in the oblasts of Lviv and Kyiv were also surveyed. The goal is to preserve and restore sites that have been destroyed by the Russian bombardment, the ministry stressed.

In June, the embattled Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russian shelling had damaged over 113 churches all across the nation, only days after admitting that 200 historic sites had been destroyed. On June 4, Zelenskyy stated that among the dozens of destroyed churches were ones that had resisted Nazis during World War II and those built after the Soviet Union’s split. 

Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry had asserted that the retreating Ukrainian nationalists had set fire to a wooden monastery in Svyatogorsk, Donetsk Oblast, on June 4. The ministry had stated in a statement, “Ukrainian nationalists on June 4 set fire to a wooden monastery of the Svyatogorsk Dormition Laura as Ukraine’s 79th air assault brigade retreated from the town of Svyatogorsk of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” TASS reported. 

Ukrainian people lost their lives due to the Russian invasion

In its latest update, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that 4,481 people have lost their lives in the war, while 5,565 others have been wounded. Donbas has suffered the highest casualties, with 2,611 deceased and 3,103 injured. Despite the fact that the total number of civilians killed in the Moscow-Kyiv conflict is likely to be greater, the UN has stated that the total number of civilians killed in the conflict has surpassed 10,000. According to the report, the majority of the injuries were caused by “explosive weapons” with a large effective area, such as shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missile and air attacks. 

Further, the UN rights chief condemned the scale of death and damage in Ukraine’s coastal city of Mariupol, saying the images plainly show Russian forces committing war crimes in the conflict-torn nation. Michelle Bachelet said that the information gathered by the UN agency reveals severe international law violations by Russian forces while addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

She said: “The intensity and extent of hostilities, destruction and death and injury strongly suggest that serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of international human rights law have occurred”.  

Bachelet also noted that her agency has documented over 1,348 civilian fatalities, including 70 children in Mariupol. 


(Image: AP)

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