Russian invaders have again shelled the Sviatohirsk Lavra monastery in the north of the Donetsk Region, where hundreds of civilians sought refuge, said Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Ukrainian Minister of Culture and Information Policy, on Saturday, June 4.
According to Minister Tkachenko, in addition to monks and nuns, 300 civilians took shelter in the monastery. He said that the refugees include invalids, the elderly, and some 60 children, among them babies.
As an effect of the shelling, the All Saints’ skete (hermitage), the largest wooden church in Ukraine, dating back to 1912, had caught fire. Due to the constant bombardment, no one is able to fight the conflagration.
Skete of All Saints of the Holy Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra is now on fire caused by russia’s hostilities.— Tkachenko Oleksandr (@otkachenkoua) June 4, 2022
There were about 300 refugees, about 60 children.
racists continue to prove inability to be part of civilized world.
133 🇺🇦 religious buildings already suffered from russia pic.twitter.com/NHKNHpN8S8
The structures of the monastery have been damaged or destroyed in March and in May, and three members of the monastic community have been killed. The shelling of the monastery, which is subordinate to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, is not the only case of wanton destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage by Russians.
“We keep records of cultural monuments that were damaged or destroyed during the war. [...] Similarly, we are now calculating how we can determine actual financial losses from the destruction of our monuments,” Minister Tkachenko told the press. He stressed that “almost half of these 370 cultural monuments are churches of various denominations. In fact, when the Russians destroy Ukrainian heritage, they don't care whether these are their [spiritual sites] or not, they just destroy them."