Over 150 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed in the nearly four months of war in Ukraine, Unesco announced today.
“According to the checks carried out by our experts, 152 cultural sites have been partially or completely destroyed due to the fighting, including 70 religious sites, 30 historic buildings, 18 cultural centres, 12 museums and 7 libraries,” the UN agency said in a statement.
“Most damage has been reported in three provinces: Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kiev,” it clarified.
“The repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of Unesco.
“Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted,” she added.
In mid-April, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of Unesco World Heritage Centre, had said some 100 cultural sites had been damaged or destroyed, including “historical monuments, some dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries, and others of the Soviet era”.
“There are also churches, cathedrals with unique artefacts, theatres, such as the one in Mariupol, libraries and other buildings where archives are kept, buildings erected at the peak of Ukraine’s history,” he had added, describing the destruction as “dramatic”.
“Ukraine and Russia, signatories to the Hague Convention of 1954, are obliged to protect cultural heritage in case of armed conflict,” Azoulay noted.
“The seven monuments in Ukraine designated as World Heritage Sites have not been damaged so far,” Unesco said.