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Sviatihirsk Lavra, bombs on the 16th-century Holy Dormition Monastery. Zelensky’s wrath

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From our correspondent

UMAN (Western Ukraine) – Ukraine’s cultural, religious and architectural heritage is still the victim of the war unleashed by the Russian invasion that began 101 days ago. This time it is the beautiful old wooden structure of All Saints, in the Sviatohirsk Lavra complex, one of the best-known Orthodox monasteries in the Donetsk region, right in the heart of the disputed Donbass that is on fire.

Zelensky’s accusations

Hit by some bombs in the morning, the whole central body is in flames: the bell towers, the towers and the upper part of the basilica are burning. Whose fault is it? Moscow and Kiev, for their part, deny any responsibility and accuse each other. “Another crime committed by Russian barbarians, who have no respect for the sacred,” writes Yuri Kochevenko, a Ukrainian army officer at the scene, enclosing several images of the monastery burning like a match. The Kiev government confirms the fire, adding that more than 300 displaced persons were inside the monastery at the time of the bombing. President Zelensky denounces via Telegram: «The occupiers knew what they were bombing. They know that there are no soldiers on the territory of the monastery, only 300 lay people who had found refuge and 60 of them were children. But the Russians bombed it anyway, like the rest of the Donbass.’

The Moscow version

The Ministry of Defense in Moscow directly blames the Ukrainian “nationalist forces” and in particular the soldiers of the 79th Airborne Assault Brigade. “According to local sources, incendiary bullets were fired from a powerful machine gun mounted on a Kozak-type armored vehicle,” we read, adding that the Russian units would not operate in the area of ​​the monastery at this time precisely to avoid damage .

History from the sixteenth century to the Bolsheviks

However, the damage is very serious. The first written references to the monastery date from 1527. In 1827 Catherine II wanted it to close, but it was soon reopened until the Russian Revolution in 1917. In 1922, the Bolshevik government imposed its closure and wanted to convert it into a civilian structure. function in 2004 from the Kiev Patriarchate linked to that of Moscow Patriarch Kirill. The monastery complex has been hit by bombs several times in recent months. Today it is the turn of the wooden construction of All Saints. On March 12, the main body was damaged by the Russian Air Force and a second time on May 4, when 7 displaced civilians were injured. And again on June 2, when two other civilians lost their lives.

Source: Corriere

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