UNESCO has updated the list of destroyed cultural monuments due to Russian aggression and confirmed the damage to 274 cultural sites in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

“As of July 26, 2023, UNESCO has confirmed the damage to 274 sites since February 24, 2022 – 117 religious sites, 27 museums, 98 buildings of historical and/or artistic value, 19 monuments, 12 libraries, and one archive,” the statement said.

Russians twice hit the building of the local history museum in Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast. 25 April 2023 / Photo: Oleksandr Magula for Gwara Media

UNESCO is conducting a preliminary damage assessment for cultural properties* by cross-checking the reported incidents with multiple credible sources. These published data which will be regularly updated do not commit the Organization. UNESCO is also developing, with its partner organizations, a mechanism for independent coordinated assessment of data in Ukraine, including satellite image analysis, in line with provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

*The term “cultural property” refers to immovable cultural property as defined under Article 1 of the 1954 Hague Convention, irrespective of its origin, ownership or registration status in the national inventory, and facilities and monuments dedicated to culture, including memorials. 

The organization is also working with partners to develop a mechanism for independent, coordinated data assessment in Ukraine, including the analysis of satellite imagery, by the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

The monument to Hryhorii Skovoroda, saved from the museum in Kharkiv Oblast / Denys Glushko, Gwara Media

The updated UNESCO report indicates how many and which monuments were damaged in a particular region.

Most of the damage to cultural sites was recorded in Donetsk (78 sites), Kharkiv (55 sites), Kyiv (38 sites), Luhansk (33 sites), and Chernihiv (17 sites) regions. There were also damages in Zaporizhzhia and Sumy (12 sites each), Odesa and Mykolaiv (eight sites each), Kherson (six sites), Zhytomyr (three sites), Vinnytsia (two sites), and Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv regions (one site each).

Among the damaged monuments in Kharkiv region: Slovo House in Kharkiv, Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, Drobytsky Yar Holocaust Memorial, Holy Ascension Cathedral in Izyum, Memorial to the Victims of Totalitarianism, National Literary and Memorial Museum of Hryhoriy Skovoroda in Skovorodynivka, Polovtsian Stone Women (9th-13th centuries) in Izyum, Kupiansk Museum of Local Lore, and other monuments.

See also

Youth and sports ministry: 11 sports infrastructure facilities damaged in Kharkiv. Kharkiv is one of the most damaged cities due to armed Russian aggression. Among other civilian infrastructure objects, Kharkiv sports facilities were heavily affected.

Cost of Ukrainian cultural sites restoration damaged by Russian aggression: $100 billion. As a result of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, 1,373 cultural institutions and more than 550 cultural monuments have been damaged or destroyed.