FRANCE,RUSSIA: The UN’s cultural agency on Friday said it had confirmed that at least 53 Ukrainian historical sites, religious buildings and museums had sustained damage during Russia’s invasion of the country.
“This is the latest list but it is not exhaustive as our experts are continuing to verify a number of reports,” filed by the Ukrainian authorities, a UNESCO spokesman said as the body published a list of the 53 damaged sites in the north and east of the country.
The spokesman said UNESCO used satellite images and witness reports from the scene to verify the information provided by the Ukrainian authorities.
The sites UNESCO says have been damaged include over a dozen in the eastern Kharkiv region that has been intensely hit by Russian fire, ranging from churches to more modern heritage sites.
Five are in the capital Kyiv while another five are in the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine which is home to a cluster of historic sites.
UNESCO said overall 29 religious sites, 16 historic buildings four museums and four monuments are confirmed to have been damaged in Ukraine.
The list does not include information from the besieged city of Mariupol or the city of Kherson which was captured by Russia.
None of those confirmed damaged are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ukraine, such as the Saint-Sophia Cathedral and monastic buildings of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the military to strengthen the country’s western borders so that no one would ever think of launching an attack.
Peskov told the main television network in neighbouring Belarus that unnamed nations were strengthening their military potential near Russia’s western borders. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was working on a security plan, he said.
“Of course this will be done in a way to make us secure and ensure we reach the required level of parity so that it wouldn’t cross anyone’s mind … to attack us,” he said. – THE STRAITS TIMES,FRANCE 24