KIEV – There was this little rural wonder, the white walls, the green on the lawns that were always nicely trimmed, the huge bell on the scaffolding in the yard. Everything destroyed. For the second time in two months, the monastery of St. George of the Holy Dominion in Svyatogorsk, in the heart of the Ukrainian Donbass, under Russian bombs, and this time it got worse.
There are not only executions and rapes, systematic destruction of civilian infrastructure and entire cities in the number of war crimes attributed to the Russians: in two and a half months “special operation”, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, more than three hundred crimes against art and architecture .
From the theft of Skythia’s gold from the Melitopol Museum to the destruction of the Ukrainian Philosopher’s Museum Grigory Skovorodaup to “hundreds of religious structures destroyed or damaged,” the minister said Oleksandr Tkachenko. It is a violation of Ukrainian history and roots that the director of the Kharkiv department of the National Memory Institute, Maria Takhtaulova, he called “cultural genocide”. It is not a side effect of war, an inevitable consequence of an invasion of weapons: it is “burning a cultural field to replace it with your own”.
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In Svyatogorsk, much of the central church is now a rubble. Ukrainian soldiers recorded a video of what is left of St. George’s happened, the ancient monastery community overlooking the forest in a bend in the Donetsk river. They call it “a deliberate attack”, even though the monastery is affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate. The structure – first mentioned in 1526 – was given the status of Lavra, ie a small Orthodox monastery settlement, in 2004. It is about sixty kilometers north of Kramatorsk, between Izyum and Sloviansk: the battle is fierce there. to refrain from aiming twice with the artillery and to hit a sacred place is well suspected. The Russians certainly will not stop in front of the bell in a sacred building of the Moscow Patriarchate if they think they can hit the Ukrainian positions that hinder the advance.
The community – with its churches and cells, with the small core of semi-hermitic life and the large buildings that housed thousands of pilgrims, a primary school and a parish school – with the war it took in refugees on the run, but now it is on the line of fire. The monastery was first centered on March 12: it housed a thousand refugees from Izyum. The Russians struck him again at dawn on May 8, the day of remembrance for the victims of Nazism: this time the sketch of San Giorgio, the church between the cells, is destroyed.
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The day before, Russian gunmen had cleared the museum dedicated to the Ukrainian philosopher Grigory Skovoroda in Skovorodinovka in the Kharkiv region. He lived there his last years, that is the country where he is buried. The building that housed it was an eighteenth-century jewel: “The Russian army used a missile to destroy the museum: it is barbaric,” President Zelensky said. According to the Maidan Monitoring Information Center, more than barbarism is revenge. The proposal to change the toponymy had just been voted on: would via Pushkin be created via Skovoroda? Bombs down. The same thing would happen on April 17: the mayor had the monument to Marshal Zhukov torn down, and the Russians bombed the center heavily.
In the Kharkiv region, which was martyred by missiles and artillery, the legacy, according to the Ministry of Culture, suffered 88 injuries, almost a third of all of Ukraine. On March 14, they demolished the Maslovsky grocery house, built in 1911 by the architect Moses Meletinsky who built the Moscow Metro in the 1930s. The list is long: from the Philharmonic to the Art Museum, from the Author’s House “Slovo” to the seventeenth-century ascension cathedral and the cross synagogue; from the Church of Sant’Antonio to the Church of Beata Regina Tamara.
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The bombers went to look for the museum on Khortytsia Cossack Island in Zaporozhye: an iconic place for any Ukrainian. The Russians withdrew from the Trostyanets and burned the house of the Koenig property manager, the National Museum. Borodyanka Museum of Local Lore was hit by an air strike just like the old church in Volnovakha, Donbass. In Chernihiv, they spared neither the Transfiguration Cathedral (11th century), nor Saint Catherine (18th century), nor even the Elets Assumption Monastery (11th century).
What they do not destroy, they steal. The most painful case is the treasure of the shooters, the gold jewels stolen from the museum. But in March, the most precious collections also disappeared from the museums in Zaporozhye, and the Mariupol City Council accuses the Russians of stealing “more than two thousand artifacts” from the museums in the city of martyrdom, including “a unique handwritten scroll of the Torah”. “and” the gospel of 1811 made by the Venetian printing house for the Greeks in Mariupol. “Worse than the females.