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7 months of Russia’s full-scale attack: 270 religious sites ruined in Ukraine

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From February 24 to September 20, 2022, at least 270 religious sites in at least 14 regions of Ukraine were fully or partly ruined by the aggressive attack of the Russian Federation: churches, mosques, synagogues, educational and administrative building of Ukraine’s religious communities.

The monitoring is conducted by the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Affairs and Freedom of Conscience (DESS) in cooperation with the Workshop for the Academic Study of Religion. Visit our interactive map for geographical visualization of the affected sites and details regarding each of them. 

The full list of ruined sites of Ukraine’s religious communities is available here.

5 of the 270 sites damaged by the Russian attack are Muslim, 5 Jewish, the other 260 Christian.

30 of the sites affected belong to various Protestant communities, 21 to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), 4 to the Roman Catholic Church, 3 to the Greek Catholic Church and 66 to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

52% (136 sites) of all 260 Christian sites that got fully or partially ruined by the Russian attack belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC).

The largest number of damaged religious sites are in Donetsk (67) and Luhansk (58) regions followed by Kyiv (43) and Kharkiv (35) regions.

 

Please note that the sharp increase in the number of affected sites since the previous release on August 30 is due to having received detailed information from Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ukraine regarding their Kingdom Halls damaged as a result of Russian attack.

We kindly encourage to send information, including photos, about damages to spiritual sites and other consequences of the Russian invasion into Ukraine for religious communities to religion@dess.gov.ua. You can also reach out to us by mobile: +38 097 705 38 57.

We also encourage to register as a witness with evidence on the platform of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine for documenting Russia’s army war crimes against humanity and cultural heritage: https://culturecrimes.mkip.gov.ua. Click here to view recorded crimes on this platform.

Regardless of your faith or ethnic identity, you are also welcome to contact Crimean Tatar Resource Center to help collect evidence for making Russia accountable for its crimes in Ukraine. If you possess detailed information about any war crime (including a ruined spiritual site) and could be a witness in an international court, you can fill out the CTRC survey and send it to court@ctrcenter.org.

Note: the statistics refers to sites of spiritual significance: when several buildings were ruined at one spiritual location of a particular religious community, they are still counted as one entry.