Russia destroyed more than 200 cultural heritage assets of Ukraine

United Nations agencies presented on Wednesday (26) a new platform that uses satellite images to monitor the cultural heritage destroyed in Ukraine by the war initiated by Russia, and until now damage has been confirmed in 207 locations across the country, including 88 religious temples.

The platform, for now only accessible via the internet by specialists, is managed by the United Nations Satellite Center (Unosat), which will provide regularly updated information to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

“First We collect information about the damage that appears in the media and social networks, we try to confirm it with more sources, and from there we start to collect satellite images that we analyze to confirm whether such damage has occurred”, explained during the presentation, the director of Culture and Emergencies from UNESCO, Krista Pikkat.

A pl The platform shows images of the damaged sites before and after they were attacked, as well as a map showing their location, with damage statistics by region and by type of cultural property (religious, archaeological, etc.).

“This is a pilot experiment to see how we can compile this kind of information, and in the future we hope to expand the scope of the study to a global level,” said Pikkat.

The expert highlighted that UNESCO and Unosat “do not have the mandate to find out which side did the damage” confirmed by the platform, which shows the regions of Donetsk, Kharkov and Kiev as the most affected by the damage to their cultural heritage.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, the war has caused damage to the national heritage of more than 7 million euros so far.

Unesco warns that the damage to cultural assets observed does not mean only buildings destroyed: in many of them, such as museums or libraries, entire collections can be lost been outdoors or without adequate conservation conditions, especially with the onset of winter, that many parts of Ukraine could be without electricity or heating.

The Paris-based organization, which presented this platform in Geneva, where the Unosat analysis office is located, clarified that none of the seven Ukrainian World Heritage properties have been destroyed or damaged so far in the war.

These properties now protected from missiles include the Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Kiev, the historic complex of the city of Lviv, and the tserkvas (wooden churches) scattered in the Carpathians.

Unesco is working in Ukraine especially in the protection of historic sites

Properties to be protected from attack in cities like Odessa are usually marked with an emblem in the form of a white shield and blue, what in t eoria indicates to the sides of the conflict that they should not attack them, as they are places of special historical importance.

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