UNESCO Lists Ukrainian Historical Sites In Danger Of Destruction Due To War

UNESCO Lists Ukrainian Historical Sites In Danger Of Destruction Due To War

UNESCO’s heritage body has identified major historical sites in two Ukrainian cities at risk of destruction as a result of the ongoing war with Russia.

Among these sites are the iconic Saint Sophia Cathedral in the capital city of Kyiv and the medieval structures at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery site.

Additionally, the historic center of the city of Lviv has also been placed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.

UNESCO emphasized that the conditions necessary to fully protect these heritage sites could not be met given the ongoing conflict.

The organization stated that these sites are not only at risk from direct attacks but are also vulnerable to shockwaves from bombings in the two cities.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, which reached this conclusion, added that listing these sites as endangered serves as a reminder to UN member states about their responsibility to contribute to their protection.

It also opens the door to potential financial and technical aid for safeguarding these sites.

Russia has claimed to take “necessary precautions” to prevent damage to these sites, but Ukraine disputes these assurances.

The recent additions to the danger list come after the Ukrainian port city of Odesa was added in January, nearly a year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Odesa has been heavily bombarded by Russia in recent months following the collapse of a deal allowing Ukraine to export grain via the Black Sea.

UNESCO has previously criticized Russia for its bombing in Ukraine. In July, the organization condemned the bombing of a building just outside Lviv’s historic old town.

Also Read: Cuban Authorities Arrest 17 In Alleged Human Trafficking Ring Sending Fighters To Ukraine

Lviv, founded in the Middle Ages, has preserved much of its architectural and cultural heritage. It served as an administrative, religious, and commercial center from the 13th to the 20th centuries and was added to the World Heritage List in 1998.

The Saint Sophia Cathedral, built in the 11th century, was designed to rival the Hagia Sophia in modern-day Turkey, which was then part of Constantinople. It is one of the few surviving buildings from that era.

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, also known as Kyiv’s Monastery of the Caves, was founded around the same time as the cathedral and is the oldest monastic complex of the Rus people, who lived in Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages. It became a significant spiritual and cultural center.

Currently, UNESCO’s danger list includes more than 50 properties, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Vienna’s historic center, and the tropical rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

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Written by Andrew Walyaula

Multimedia Journalist

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