(Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday that he was stunned by Russian bombings that destroyed a museum dedicated to 18th-century philosopher and poet Hryhoriy Skovoroda.
The overnight attack on the village of Skovorodynivka in eastern Ukraine hit the roof of the museum, setting the building on fire and injuring a 35-year-old caretaker. The most valuable items had been moved earlier for security reasons, said Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Sinegubov.
“Every day of this war, the Russian army does something that leaves me speechless. But the next day it does something else that makes you feel the same again,” Zelenskiy said in a video address at night.
“Strikes against museums, not even terrorists would think so. But that’s the kind of army we’re fighting,” he said.
Skovoroda, of Cossack descent from Ukraine, spent the last years of his life in the village of Ivanovka, which was later renamed in his honor – Skovorodynivka.
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“This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great philosopher,” Sinegubov said on a social media post. “The occupants can destroy the museum where Hryhoriy Skovoroda worked the last years of his life and where he was buried. But they will not destroy our memory and our values.”
Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls Western-promoted anti-Russian nationalism. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched an unprovoked act of aggression.
(Report by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne, Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Written by Lidia Kelly and David Ljunggren; Edited by William Maclean and Matthew Lewis)
Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.