Members of the UN Security Council recognize russia's actions as directed against Ukrainian identity
On July 15, a meeting of the UN Security Council Arria-formula was held on the topic: "The destruction of cultural heritage as a consequence of russian aggression against Ukraine." The meeting was attended by both permanent representatives of the countries in the UN, as well as representatives of UNESCO and the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), who have just visited Ukraine.
"As of today, russians have committed 423 crimes against our cultural heritage. They are targeting our heritage on purpose. Each speaker expressed his vision of the war in Ukraine - and it is the only one - russia is trying to destroy our identity. All participants (except the russian federation, of course) condemned russia's aggression against Ukraine, which destroys cultural heritage, our language, literature, and robs our museums. This is an attempt to wipe out everything Ukrainian from the face of the earth. But the whole world understands this and russia will not succeed. International organizations must increase pressure on russia to stop this terrorism against the Ukrainian nation. Only together we will be able to stop the aggressor", - noted Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
The meeting was initiated by Albania and Poland in cooperation with Ukraine. It is co-sponsored by Council members Ireland and the UK, as well as several non-Council members.
Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, addressed the international community with a speech, noting: "Russians are purposely destroying cultural heritage objects with shelling throughout Ukraine - from Luhansk region to Lviv region. All the cultural heritage of the entire country, both tangible and intangible, is now under attack and must be protected for all humanity."
She emphasized that the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy constantly records episodes of damage and destruction of objects of cultural heritage and cultural institutions. Among them: 128 immovable cultural heritage objects that have the official status of monuments; 147 religious buildings (50 of them are registered as monuments of history, architecture and urban planning or valuable historical buildings); 136 belong to Christian communities (125 - Orthodox, 10 - Protestants, 2 - Catholics), 4 to Islamic communities, 6 to Jewish communities. 46 memorial monuments in honor of historical figures and events of the 19th - early 21st centuries, 33 museums and reserves, 59 cultural centers, theaters and cinemas, 40 libraries.
All these damages and destructions, which are the results of the missile attacks, bombing and artillery shelling, were recorded as for now in 15 regions of 27 regions of Ukraine. Geographically it covers almost all the territory of the country from the Luhansk and Donetsk Regions at the Eastern part of Ukraine to the Lviv Region, near the border of Poland, on the West.
The meeting provided an opportunity for member states to hear first-hand accounts of the scale of damage to cultural properties in Ukraine, in particular the Hryhoriy Skovoroda museum in Kharkiv region and the Museum of Local Lore in Ivankiv in Kyiv region.
The meeting members also referred to other issues related to the war in Ukraine. Among them: concerns about intensification of missile attacks throughout the country. In the conceptual note prepared by the co-organizers of the meeting, it is stated that the destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine "has become an integral element of russia's war."
As a result, international colleagues condemned russian aggression and recognized russia's actions as directed against Ukrainian identity and emphasized the need to strengthen joint efforts to protect Ukraine's cultural heritage from russian aggression.
Reminding, a July 14 note to correspondents states that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "appalled" by the attack on the city of Vinnytsia and "condemns any attacks against civilians or civilian infrastructure and reiterates his call for accountability for such violations."