A missile strike targeted the Hryhorii Skovoroda Literary Memorial Museum in Skovorodynivka, Ukraine, on May 6. The Russian attack damaged paintings, sculptures and books housed in the historic house museum dedicated to one of Ukraine’s most influential poets and philosophers. The museum burned, reports the Kyiv Post.
“This was done so Russia can say that there is no Ukrainian culture, that Ukrainian identity does not exist,” museum director Nataliia Micay told NBC News.
The damage to the cultural site was just one of at least 133 sites attacked by Russia since Feb. 24, according to UNESCO. The number is probably much higher as Ukrainian officials have accused Moscow of intentionally attacking hundreds of cultural sites, which is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention, notes NBC.
A museum housing work by renowned Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko and many other heritage sites have been destroyed by Russian missiles, along with theaters, churches, monuments and libraries.
More than 2,000 pieces of art are throught to have been seized by Russian troops in the city of Mariupol. The tally of missing and destroyed cultural sites and objects is not yet known.
Listen in as experts discuss "Ukrainian Cultural Heritage: What's Damaged; Destroyed; Documented; and Being Done" in this April 27 event held by IFAR (scroll down page for recording).