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Russian missile attack destroys historic cathedral in Odesa

by Abbey Fenbert July 23, 2023 5:26 AM 2 min read
The destruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral building damaged as a result of a missile strike in Odesa overnight on July 23, 2023. (Oleksandr Gimanov / AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian missile attacks on the night of July 22-23 caused significant damage to Odesa's historic Transfiguration Cathedral, the city administration reported.

The building was partially destroyed, and a number of Orthodox shrines damaged.

The cathedral belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow – a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church active in Ukraine.

The cathedral was hit in a large overnight missile attack that killed one civilian and injured 18 others, including four children.  

A first responder collects icons at the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa after it's been severely damaged by a Russian missile strike on the city on July 23, 2023. (Odesa Governor Oleh Kiper via Telegram)

Local authorities later said that two architectural landmarks were badly damaged or destroyed in the attack, including the cathedral.

Emergency workers pulled an icon, the Kasperovskaya Icon of the Mother of God, from the rubble. The administration referred to the icon as "the patron saint of Odesa."

The interior of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa on the morning of July 23, following an overnight missile attack. (Odesa Governor Oleh Kiper via Telegram)

On July 21, UNESCO condemned the Russian military attacks on Odesa's historic center, named a world heritage site earlier this year. UNESCO listed "religious buildings" as among the reasons the city center deserved this designation.

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

Photos posted to Telegram by the Odesa-based news outlet Dumska show extensive damage to the interior of the cathedral, though the building remains standing.

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

Ukraine war latest: Russia tries to conduct sabotage raids in Sumy, Chernihiv oblasts
Key developments on July 21: * Russian media: War criminal Igor Girkin arrested in Russia * Germany delivers Leopard-1 tanks, other military aid to Ukraine * France accuses China of delivering non-lethal aid to Russia * Russian attacks kill at least 8, including 2 children. Russian sabotage un…
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