Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 9:21:31 PM

The churches wrecked by war

International desk
the churches

Ukraine has accused Russia of damaging or destroying at least 59 religious sites across the country since its invasion began.

Moscow denies targeting civilian infrastructure, but the BBC has identified a number of religious sites that have suffered heavy damage.

They include an Orthodox cathedral in the besieged city of Mariupol, which has had its crowning dome ripped apart.

Described by Mariupol's tourist office as the most beautiful place on the city's left bank, St Michael's Cathedral offered commanding views of the Sea of Azov. But its windows are shattered and gaping holes have been blown through its brickwork.

Another church, in the small village of Yasnohorodka, about 40km (25 miles) west of Kyiv, has also been badly damaged. Two shells blew apart its bell tower, while machine-gun fire smashed its windows and doors, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church says.

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