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Ministry: Russia has damaged over 760 cultural heritage sites in Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova August 8, 2023 3:44 AM 2 min read
Shrapnel holes dot the wall of a cultural centre damaged by Russian shelling in the Chernechynska community in Sumy Oblast, northeastern Ukraine. (Photo credit should read Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Russian forces have damaged at least 763 cultural heritage sites in unoccupied regions of Ukraine since Feb. 24 2022, according to Ukraine's Culture Ministry. The highest number of damaged sites have been recorded in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson, Kyiv and Odesa oblasts.

Of those 763 are at least 255 architectural landmarks, 185 historical sites, 19 monumental art sites, 18 sites of archeological significance. The information presented by the ministry spans the beginning of ther war to July 25, 2023.

The total number of damaged cultural heritage sites due to Russia’s war is vastly higher, as the current count does not include Russian-occupied territories or where hostilities are ongoing, the ministry said.

Earlier, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that as of July 26, at least 274 cultural sites had been damaged during the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This included 117 religious sites, 27 museums, 98 buildings of historical and/or artistic interest, 19 monuments, 12 libraries, and one archive.

After Russian strikes against Odesa's historical center, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site earlier this year, the organization highlighted that the intentional destruction of cultural sites may amount to a war crime, "as acknowledged also by the United Nations Security Council — of which the Russian Federation is a permanent member."

UNESCO: 274 cultural sites damaged in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on July 31 that as of July 26, at least 274 cultural sites had been damaged during the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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