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Russia destroyed over 800 Ukrainian cultural heritage sites

In an irony, Russian forces also took down monuments of historical Russian military figures like Admiral Ushakov and General Suvorov.
damaged church in odesa
Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa damaged by Russian troops on 23 July 2023. Source: Italian PM’s press service
Russia destroyed over 800 Ukrainian cultural heritage sites

Russia damaged over 800 cultural heritage sites since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Hlavkom reported.

“As of late September 2023, 841 cultural heritage sites have been damaged, not including cultural infrastructure facilities,” said Yuriy Leshchuk, Deputy Minister of Culture.

The highest number of damaged sites were in the Kharkiv (207), Odesa (112), Donetsk (111), Kherson (80), and Kyiv (69) oblasts.

23 cultural heritage sites are completely destroyed, including local monuments like the Windmill in Kharkiv, the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater, and St. George’s Church in Kyiv Oblast.

Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol
Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol Credit: Ukrainian Institute
St. George’s Church in Kyiv Oblast. C
St. George’s Church in Kyiv Oblast. Credit: Ukrainian Institute

The extent of damage to another 170 sites remains unknown, the Ministry added.

Russian forces also dismantled and removed statues honouring historical Russian military figures from Ukraine, including Admiral Ushakov, General Suvorov, General Margelov, and Prince Potemkin.

They also removed a monument for Holodomor and political repression victims, along with one for artist Arkhip Kuindzhi in Russian-occupied Mariupol.

Meanwhile, on 23 July, Russia destroyed the largest Orthodox Church, Transfiguration Cathedral, in Odesa. Later, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, said that Italy would aid in the restoration of the church and other damaged Ukrainian heritage treasures.

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