The Russian war has caused some $2.6 billion worth of damage to Ukraine’s heritage and cultural sites, the United Nations has said.

Culture, tourism, sports and entertainment have lost a combined $15.1 billion in revenues since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organisation UNESCO asaid on Monday, April 3.


Close to 250 monuments have either been damaged or completely destroyed, mostly in the east of the country, it said.

Seven cultural sites and one natural site in Ukraine are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List including, as of this year, the historic city centre of Odesa in the southwest, which has been largely spared damage in the conflict.

Sixteen other sites are on UNESCO’s tentative world heritage sites list, awaiting a formal application by the government in Kyiv to be given World Heritage status.

They include the centre of Chernigiv in northern Ukraine, which sustained heavy damage during a Russian siege in the early months of the conflict.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who visited Ukraine on Monday, said around $6.9 billion was needed to repair the damage and get the sectors back on their feet.

“We will help the Ukrainian authorities draw up a national reconstruction plan for the culture sector,” she said.

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