"It is a historical genocide", even the Ukrainian culture victim of bombs and rockets

<p>KIEV - There was this little bucolic wonder, the very white walls, the green of the lawns that were always neatly trimmed, the huge bell on the scaffolding in the courtyard.

"It is a historical genocide", even the Ukrainian culture victim of bombs and rockets

KIEV - There was this little bucolic wonder, the very white walls, the green of the lawns that were always neatly trimmed, the huge bell on the scaffolding in the courtyard. All destroyed. For the second time in two months, the monastery of St. George of the Holy Domination in Svyatogorsk, in the heart of the Ukrainian Donbass, fell under Russian bombs, and this time it got worse.

From the theft of Scythian gold from the Melitopol museum to the destruction of the museum of the Ukrainian philosopher Grigory Skovoroda, up to the "hundred religious structures destroyed or damaged", says Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko. It is an affront to Ukrainian history and roots that the director of the Kharkiv Department of the Institute of National Remembrance, Maria Takhtaulova, called "cultural genocide". It is not a side effect of war, an inevitable corollary of an invasion of arms: it is "burning a cultural field to replace it with your own".

In Svyatogorsk, much of the central church is now a pile of rubble. Ukrainian soldiers shot a video of what remains of the St. George's skete, the ancient monastic community overlooking the woods on a bend in the Donetsk River. They call it "a deliberate attack" even though the monastery is linked to the Moscow Patriarchate. The structure - mentioned for the first time in 1526 - received the status of Lavra, that is, a small Orthodox monastic settlement, in 2004. It is about sixty kilometers north of Kramatorsk, between Izyum and Sloviansk: the battle is fierce there. but failing to aim twice with the artillery and hitting a sacred place is well suspect. Certainly the Russians do not stop in front of the cowbell of a sacred building of the Moscow Patriarchate, if they think they can hit the Ukrainian positions that hinder the advance.

The community - with its churches and cells, with the small nucleus of semi-hermit life and the large buildings that housed thousands of pilgrims, a public school and a parish school - with the war it welcomed refugees on the run, but now it is on the line of fire. The monastery was first centered on 12 March: it housed a thousand refugees from Izyum. The Russians struck him again at dawn on May 8, the day of memory of the victims of Nazism: this time the skete of San Giorgio, the church between the cells, is destroyed.

The day before, Russian gunners had gutted the museum dedicated to the Ukrainian philosopher Grigory Skovoroda in Skovorodinovka, in the Kharkiv region. He lived there his last years, it is the country where he is buried. The building that housed it was an eighteenth-century jewel: "The Russian army used a missile to destroy the museum: it is barbaric," said President Zelensky. According to the Maidan Monitoring Information Center, more than barbarism is revenge. The proposal to change the toponymy had just been voted: would via Pushkin become via Skovoroda? Down bombs. The same would happen on April 17: the mayor had the monument to Marshal Zhukov demolished, and the Russians heavily bombed the center.

In the Kharkiv region, martyred by missiles and artillery, according to the Ministry of Culture, the heritage suffered 88 damage, almost a third of the entire Ukraine. On March 14, they demolished the Maslovsky merchant's house, built in 1911 by the architect Moses Meletinsky who built the Moscow Metro in the 1930s. The list is long: from the Philharmonic to the Museum of Art, from the House of Writers "Slovo" to the Cathedral of the Assumption of the seventeenth century and the Choral Synagogue; from the Church of Sant'Antonio to that of the Beata Regina Tamara.

The bombs went to look for the museum of the Khortytsia Cossack Island in Zaporozhzhye: an iconic place for every Ukrainian. Retreating from Trostyanets, the Russians burned down the house of the Koenig estate manager, national museum. The Borodyanka Museum of Local Lore was hit by an air strike like the ancient church in Volnovakha, Donbass. In Chernihiv they did not spare either the Cathedral of the Transfiguration (11th century), nor Saint Catherine (18th century), and not even the Monastery of the Assumption of Elets (11th century).

What they don't destroy, they steal. The most painful case is the treasure of the Scythians, the gold jewels stolen from the museum. But in March the most precious collections also disappeared from the museums of Zaporozhzhye, and the Mariupol city council accuses the Russians of having stolen "more than two thousand artifacts" from the museums of the martyr city, including "a unique handwritten scroll of the Torah. "and" the Gospel of 1811 made by the Venetian Printing House for the Greeks of Mariupol ". Worse than the Huns.