UNESCO is deeply dismayed and condemns in the strongest terms the attack carried out by the Russian forces, which hit several cultural sites in the city centre of Odesa, home to the World Heritage property – The Historic Centre of Odesa, the organization tweeted echoing the damage of a historic Ukrainian cathedral in the Russian strikes.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, urged Russia to comply with its international-taken obligations.
“This outrageous destruction marks an escalation of violence against the cultural heritage of Ukraine. I strongly condemn this attack against culture, and I urge the Russian Federation to take meaningful action to comply with its obligations under international law, including the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the 1972 World Heritage Convention,” she said.
The attack on the historic Ukrainian cathedral on July 23 took the lives of at least two people, according to preliminary reports, and damaged several significant cultural sites, including the Transfiguration Cathedral, the first and foremost Orthodox church in Odesa founded in 1794.
This act of hostility came only days after other attacks that impacted many cultural heritage sites in areas protected under the World Heritage Convention in Lviv and Odesa.