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Minister: Nearly 1,800 cultural institutions have suffered damage in liberated territories of Ukraine

by Sonya Bandouil March 30, 2024 7:08 AM 2 min read
A damaged cultural center in Chernihiv Oblast, July 21, 2023. (Source: Governor Viacheslav Chaus)
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A total of 1,795 cultural institutions have suffered damage at the hands of Russian forces in parts of the country that had been liberated by Ukrainian forces, the country's acting Culture Minister Rostyslav Karandieiev announced on March 29.

Speaking at a forum on the reintegration of liberated Ukrainian territories, Karandieiev emphasized the devastation, including the recent destruction of the Academy of Decorative and Applied Arts and Design in Kyiv by a Russian missile.

Ukrainian cultural centers have often served as target for Russian drone and missile attacks, as Russia continues to attempt to erase the Ukrainian identity.

Putin has long argued that Ukraine is historically illegitimate and is notorious for insisting Ukrainians are actually Russians as a justification for Russia's full-scale invasion, falsely claiming that "no Ukraine ever existed in the history of mankind."

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in July 2023 that at least 274 cultural sites had been damaged during the full-scale invasion, although that number has is likely grown.

An emergency assistance program for preservation was adopted by UNESCO during the 219th session at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Since the beginning of Russia's invasion in February 2022, Ukrainian forces have liberated over 70,000 square kilometers briefly occupied by Russia in the first few months of full-scale war. The Center for Preventive Action's Global Conflict Tracker estimates that Ukraine has recaptured 54 percent of previously occupied territory, with Russia still occupying approximately 18 percent of the country.

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It was at Kyiv’s Independence Square on Dec. 1, 2013, when Ukrainians gathered during the Revolution of Dignity to express their outrage over violent police crackdowns against protestors the day prior, that author Lyuba Yakimchuk’s then three-year-old son first learned the patriotic national slogan…
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