Russia caused irreparable damage to cultural heritage sites in occupied Crimea

Crimean Tatars
Canan Kevser
16 June 2021, 16:06
Canan Kevser
16 June 2021, 16:06

Having occupied the Ukrainian Crimea, Russia has appropriated more than one-tenth of cultural heritage sites registered throughout Ukraine.

Head of the Regional Center for Human Rights Anastasiya Martynovska said this at the presentation of the report entitled "Human rights situation in Crimea for seven years of occupation" which took place at Ukrinform on Wednesday.

According to her, over the first two years of occupation, the Russian Federation fully appropriated all the cultural heritage sites of Ukraine which were located in the temporarily occupied territory. In fact, these account for more than one-tenth of all sites registered in Ukraine.

Martynovska explained that there are three main types of violations related to the preservation of cultural heritage. The first one is relocation and illegal removal of cultural artefacts from the Crimean Peninsula. The second type is illegal archaeological excavations, and the third type – restoration works.

"One of the brightest examples was the restoration works in the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve. Due to the fact that the contractor had no experience in carrying out such work, irreparable damage was caused to the only surviving example of Crimean Tatar palace architecture," the Human Rights activist asserted.

She also mentioned that during the construction of the Tavrida highway by the occupiers, the discovery of nine archaeological artefacts of different epochs was officially recorded. But due to limited time, the research was not high-quality and effective, so the monuments were damaged or not fully identified. 

"We will no longer have access to this part of our history because of the highway construction in these areas," Martynovska added.