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Ukraine Informs ICC about Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Crimea by Occupiers

Crimea Chersonese

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has submitted the communication on war crimes committed by the Russian Federation against cultural heritage sites in the temporarily occupied Crimea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

As the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office informs, the communication was signed by Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova, lawyers, and experts. The document provides evidence of large-scale destruction and appropriation of cultural heritage sites by the occupation authorities.

Among them:

  • Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora.
  • Historical surroundings of Crimean Khans’ capital in Bakhchysarai – Khan Palace, Chufut-Kale.
  • Crimean astrophysical observatory.
  • Tower of Constantine and Dock Tower in Feodosia.
  • Church of St John the Baptist in Kerch.

The communication describes in detail numerous cases of illegal archeological excavations and modifications of cultural values ​​in the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimean Peninsula, in particular the localities of Kermen-Burun and Syvah-Kermen.

The communication also outlines certain forms of crimes committed by the official authorities of the Russian Federation and the occupation authorities of Crimea. Among them:

  • Illicit trafficking of cultural property.
  • Criminal negligence in the process of so-called “restoration” of cultural sites.
  • Illegal archaeological excavations, in particular, excavations of burial sites and mounds, their destruction, and looting.
  • Transfer of cultural property from the temporarily occupied territory.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine underscores that destruction of the unique cultural heritage of mankind is as irreversible a crime as depriving a person of life because one way to end a nation’s existence is to destroy its culture and history.

Bohdan Marusyak

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