Unique stone figures dating from the 9th to 13th centuries, Polovtsian stone women, were damaged by invading Russians forces, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko confirmed on his Telegram channel on Sept. 21.
The minister visited the city of Izyum, Kharkiv Oblast, as well as Mount Kremenets, where the unique statues, known as the Polovtsian stone women, have stood for a thousand years, during his trip on Sept. 20.
“Eight of the nine stone Polovtsian women are still intact – one was destroyed by an almost direct hit by a shell, and a monument to the heroes of the Second World War nearby was also destroyed,” he said and showed photographs from the site.
Tkachenko also said that the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, together with local administrations, is now developing a plan to relocate the Polovtsian stone women to safety in Kharkiv.
In Izyum, the minister visited the Museum of Local Lore, which was also damaged by Russian invaders. The Museum employees managed to save its entire collection and exhibits. Tkachenko said that the issue of restoring the roof of the building is already being resolved with local administrations.
“Izyum is another point of pain for Ukraine,” Tkachenko said, sharing the details of his trip. “During the siege of the city in March, Izyum was actually reduced to ashes. The school that stood in the center of the city for 140 years and withstood the Second World War, the library, the music school – all razed to the ground ... It is easier, perhaps, to list the houses that didn’t burn down than those that are currently unsuitable for life.
“A depressing picture of Russian crimes against humanity. There is no electricity, no heat, no water yet. People are trying to come from the center to live in the private sector with two to three families combined, and they cook food using firewood. Demining is going on all around."