Ukraine's Culture Minister says Russia is destroying its cultural sites

# 04 March 2022 15:31 (UTC +04:00)

Ukraine's Minister of Culture and Information Policy, Oleksandr Tkachenko, called Friday "for closing the skies over Ukraine, because Russian aggressors are destroying Ukrainian cultural sites.", APA reports citing CNN.

"Most of Putin's war crimes in Ukraine have been committed from the air," Tkachenko said, according to a statement by the ministry.

"Russia's missiles and planes are deliberately destroying historic centers of big cities. Putin wants to destroy Europe's heritage and culture, wipe it from the face of the earth."

"A mad dictator threatens to destroy St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, a UNESCO church built in the 11th century," the ministry warned.

"Hundreds of innocent victims, the total destruction of churches, cathedrals and museums - is the price of the still opened sky over Ukraine."

The ministry said in the city of Kharkiv, Russian forces shelled the Assumption Cathedral -- "where people were hiding" -- the buildings of the Kharkiv National University of Arts, and dormitories of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture.

In Ivankov, near Kyiv, the museum of "world-famous artist Maria Pryimachenko, whose works were admired by Pablo Picasso" was also shelled. The Kyiv State Academy of Decorative Arts and Design has also been damaged by the "occupiers."

While "ordinary Ukrainians stop Russian tanks with their bare hands," the ministry said, "Russian missiles and planes vilely and dishonestly continue to bomb our beautiful peaceful cities."

"The world must stop this," the ministry added.

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