Paris: United Nations cultural agency UNESCO said on Wednesday that nearly 100 cultural and religious sites in Ukraine have been damaged since the start of the Russian attack on February 24. This estimate is almost double the previous figure released by UNESCO two weeks ago.
Lazare Eloundou Esomo, Director of World Heritage at UNESCO, said, "The number of sites damaged or completely destroyed will reach 100 on Thursday or Friday, this morning we have counted 98 sites and monuments listed in eight regions of the country."
‘number may increase’
Asomo said these included several sites, some from the early medieval era, others that were considered sites of early Soviet architecture. is seen. He warned, "The number may increase further."
Asomo said, "Some of these sites and monuments will take time to rebuild and others may not be reconstructed at all." He warned that targeting UNESCO-backed Blue Shield buildings indicating cultural heritage "is a violation of international law and can also be considered a war crime".
damaged Buildings not on the list of World Heritage Sites
UNESCO uses satellite images and witness reports to verify the information provided by the Ukrainian authorities. None of those damaged are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ukraine, such as the Saint-Sofia Cathedral and the monastic buildings of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in the capital. However, the historic center of the city of Chernihiv, which has seen damage in the fighting, is on the tentative list, which means that Ukraine wants it to be given World Heritage status.
Elundou Esomo said, "As far as the seven sites classified as World Heritage by UNESCO are concerned, according to the information we have, they have not suffered any damage so far." In a letter sent on March 17, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay reminded Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia’s obligations under an international convention to protect cultural heritage during the conflict.