11 months of Russia’s full-scale attack: 307 religious sites ruined in Ukraine

From February 24 to January 26, 2023, at least 307 religious sites in 15 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.

Please note that the noticeable increase in the number of damaged structures since the publication of the previous release is due to the fact that DESS received detailed information about destroyed and damaged structures from the Religious Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ukraine. We ask religious communities to send information about buildings destroyed or damaged as a result of Russian military aggression to DESS.

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 in English.

5 of the 307 sites damaged by the Russian attack are Muslim, 5 Jewish, the other 297 Christian.

30 of the sites affected belong to various Protestant communities, 21 to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), 5 to the Roman Catholic Church, 4 to the Greek Catholic Church and 95 to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Almost 48% (142 sites) of all 297 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 (75) and Luhansk (59) regions followed by Kyiv (43) and Kharkiv (38) regions.

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.