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President’s Office: Russian missile attack damages 25 historical buildings in Odesa

by Alexander Khrebet July 23, 2023 5:38 PM 2 min read
The aftermath of the Russian latest missile attack on Odesa on July 23. (Volodymyr Zelensky/Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The Russian missile attack on the historical center of Odesa overnight has damaged 25 historical buildings in the city, Oleksiy Kuleba, Deputy Head of the President’s Office, reported on July 23.

One civilian was killed, and 21 were injured, including four children, as Russian forces hit the residential area in downtown Odesa, according to the report.

“This is another attempt to kill peaceful Ukrainians, erase our history, and destroy our heritage of global significance,’ Kuleba said in a Telegram post.

Local authorities said after the attack that two architectural landmarks were badly damaged or destroyed. This includes Odesa’s historic Transfiguration Cathedral, which belongs to the branch of the Russian Orthodox Church active in Ukraine.

The Transfiguration Cathedral was founded in 1794. The original building was destroyed by the Soviet regime in 1936, and the new cathedral was built in 2003.

The attack was condemned numerous nations, including Italy, which pledged to contribute to restoration efforts.

"Italy, with its unique world-class expertise in the restoration field, is ready to join in the reconstruction of the cathedral and other treasures of Ukraine's cultural heritage," Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said, as cited by Italy's Embassy in Ukraine on July 23.

Russian forces struck Odesa repeatedly this week, launching missiles at valuable infrastructure and historical downtown, killing and wounding civilians.

On July 21, UNESCO condemned the Russian military attacks on Odesa's historic center, named a World Heritage site in January this year.

Under the terms of the World Heritage Convention, the 194 states committed not to any step that may directly or indirectly damage the World Heritage site and to assist in its protection.

Odesa’s historic center has been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, according to UNESCO, the UN cultural agency.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 15 – Why culture matters during war
Episode #15 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to Ukrainian culture, the important role it plays in war, and why it has been a target of Russian dictators for decades. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent’s culture reporter Kate Tsurkan. Listen to
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