UNESCO tracks the destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine using satellites

UNESCO, which is a division of the United Nations, uses satellites to monitor the state of cultural heritage in Ukraine. The Russians are actively destroying it, and experts want to record these facts.

Saint Sophia Cathedral is one of those objects that UNESCO is monitoring especially closely. Source: www.dw.com

Satellites track the destruction of cultural heritage

UNESCO is an organization within the UN dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage around the world. Now, when Russia is dealing crushing strikes on Ukraine, the attention of this organization is focused on the possible destruction of historical values caused by them.

According to the head of UNESCO’s emergency department, Krista Pikkat, the organization has been building a database of satellite images received from private companies for several months in order to witness the destruction of cultural heritage as a result of hostilities.

The organization, together with a group of UNOSAT experts, regularly sends requests to companies such as Maxar Technologies for photographing specific areas of the territory with high resolution.

Pikkat noted that in order for experts to make sure that the destruction really happened as a result of certain actions, it is necessary to collect a considerable database of information. In addition, it is necessary in order to proceed with reconstruction after the cessation of hostilities and return the objects of cultural heritage to their authentic appearance.

What does UNESCO think about the situation in Ukraine?

Representatives of UNESCO stated that they were well aware that cultural heritage sites become not only accidental victims of air and artillery strikes. Since they are the embodiment of the country’s identity, the invaders may well destroy them deliberately. Recently, US President Joe Biden accused Russia of deliberately destroying Ukrainian historical buildings.

As of today, UNESCO records more than 200 cases of damage to cultural objects in Ukraine. They mainly fall on Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions and the city of Kyiv. Among the partially or completely destroyed 88 religious buildings, 15 museums, 76 buildings of historical or cultural value, 18 monuments and 10 libraries.

None of the seven World Cultural Heritage sites on the territory of Ukraine was damaged. The organization continues to cooperate with the Government of the country to protect important places. This month, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed to make the center of Odesa the eighth world-important territory and thus protect it from possible destruction.

According to www.dw.com

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