United Nations officials said they were deeply concerned about the preservation of historic cultural heritage sites in Ukraine. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization said that the agency is working on assessing the damage to objects of attack in Ukraine as a result of Russian armed aggression.
Ukraine is home to several protected and preserved cultural heritage sites due to their global importance to world culture. Among them, there are including seven World Heritage Sites. Such monuments include a large area in the city of Lviv, which is located in the west of Ukraine, and which was founded in the Middle Ages.
This section, called the Ensemble of the Historic Center, consists of the Lviv High Castle and its environs, as well as the Cathedral of St. George.
Almost in the very center of Lviv, there is a special place – a tall mound with an equally tall television tower. This is the High Castle. More precisely, the ruins of the once defensive structures of the city. It is visible from afar. It beckons with a cozy park and picturesque landscapes.
This is one of the monuments of defensive Lviv, which dates back to the XII century. In 1256, historical chronicles contained the first mention of Lviv, which was associated with this picturesque mountain. Lviv residents and guests of the city consider the High Castle park one of the best places for peaceful rest and romantic meetings.
Castle Hill, on which the High Castle is built, is a unique observation platform (with a height of 413 meters above sea level), which has no analogs in all of Europe. From here, stunning views of the picturesque landscapes of ancient Lviv open up.
St. Sophia Cathedral, another UNESCO-protected site, is located in Kyiv, which has come under constant shelling from Russian troops over the past week.
Sophia Cathedral is a Christian cathedral in the center of Kyiv. It is a monument of Ukrainian architecture heritage and a monumental painting of the second decade of the 11th century. (1011–1018). This is one of the few surviving buildings from the time of Kyiv Rus and one of the world heritage sites. This is one of the most important Christian shrines in Western Europe, the historical center of the Kyiv Metropolis.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that we must protect this cultural heritage not only as a testament to the past but also as a vector of peace for the future, which the international community is obliged to protect and preserve for future generations. Also, to protect the future, educational institutions should be considered safe havens, she added.
In Odesa and Kharkiv, Russian troops deliberately fired on residential buildings. Azoulay noted that these cities are members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Last year, the United Nations Security Council, in which Russia holds a permanent seat, adopted a resolution. It requires member states to prevent attacks and threats of attack on schools and ensure the protection of schools, including children and teachers, during armed conflict.
UNESCO is deeply concerned about the attacks on educational institutions in Ukraine, which have damaged at least seven institutions over the past week, including the attack on the Karazin Kharkiv National University on Wednesday.
The United Nations agency also condemned the attack on the Holocaust memorial at Babi Yar, which remembers one of the largest mass executions of Jews during World War II. A statement from memorial officials said the existing memorial was not damaged in the shelling. But the rocket hit the nearby Avangard sports complex. It was supposed to be the home of the Holocaust Memorial in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
UNESCO said it would work with Ukrainian authorities to mark historical monuments across the country that have not yet been identified by the cultural preservation agency.