More than 150 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed in nearly four months of war in Ukraine, the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (Unesco) announced on Thursday. .
“According to the verifications carried out by its experts, 152 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed due to the fighting, including 70 religious buildings, 30 historic buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums and 7 libraries”, indicates Unesco in a press release.
Three regions have concentrated three-quarters of the damage since February 24, the date of the start of the Russian invasion: those of Donetsk (45 sites affected), Kharkiv (40) and kyiv ( 26), specifies the UN organization.
“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO. “Cultural heritage, in all its forms, can in no way be targeted,” she continued.
Mid-April, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, the director of the World Heritage Center UNESCO, had already reported about a hundred damaged or destroyed sites, including “historic monuments, some (dating) from the 11th, 12th century and others with architecture from the Soviet era”.< /p>
“We also have churches, cathedrals, with unique liturgical objects, theaters, like that of Mariupol, libraries and other archive buildings, monuments built to the glory of history of Ukraine”, he listed, describing this destruction as “dramatic”.
Signatories to the 1954 Hague Convention, Ukraine and Russia have an obligation to protect the cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict, recalled Audrey Azoulay.
The seven Ukrainian World Heritage sites were not, however, damaged in this day, according to the UN organization.