More than 150 cultural monuments in Ukraine destroyed by the war in Russia: UN

PARIS: United Nations experts have confirmed the complete or partial destruction of 152 cultural and historical heritage sites in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country, the cultural agency said Thursday.
These include museums and monuments, churches and other religious buildings, and libraries and other exceptional buildings, UNESCO said in an update on its efforts to help Ukrainian authorities document the damage.
“These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop. Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.
Her office has helped Ukrainian authorities mark landmarks with the signature “blue shield,” meaning they are protected by the 1954 Hague Convention on Culture in Armed Conflict, to which both Russia and Ukraine are signatories.
Still, since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, dozens of sites have been damaged, three quarters of which are in the eastern regions of Kharkov and Donetsk and near the capital. Kievsaid UNESCO in its update.
But for now, the seven World Heritage Sites in Ukraine have not been affected, such as Saint Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery buildings in the capital.
Ukraine has demanded that Russia be expelled from UNESCO, and the agency has indefinitely postponed a meeting to discuss the status of the World Heritage Sites Russia would host in the city of Kazan this month.
UNESCO has warned that Russian troops or officials found guilty of knowingly destroying heritage sites in Ukraine could face prosecution under international law.

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