Ambassador Оксана Маркарова, Defense Attache Major General Borys Kremenetskyi, SI Ambassador-At-Large Richard Kurin, Colonel Andrew Scott DeJesse and Ms. Corine Wegener, Director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative took part at the graduation ceremony of Army Monuments Officer Training.
Ambassador Markarova presented the certificate to the graduates of the course, aimed at protecting and preserving cultural property in armed conflict.
Grateful to the Smithsonian
Cultural Rescue Initiative and United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command for inviting 6 Ukrainian officers to be trained side-by-side with offices from the U.S. Army, British Army, French Army and Polish Armed Forces.
This training program is truly important to Ukraine as Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has been aimed at destruction of Ukraine’s statehood, culture and national identity.
As of 23 August 2023, UNESCO has verified damage to 284 sites since 24 February 2022, including 120 religious sites, 27 museums, 104 buildings of historical and artistic interest, 19 monuments, 13 libraries,1 Archive. Losses in the field of culture caused by Russia’s war of aggression reach almost 7 bln USD.
This important training that will help Ukrainian army and military offices to learn new techniques and methods of protecting Ukraine’s cultural heritage from destruction and documenting Russia’s war crimes against our culture and national identity.
The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict classifies the targeting of cultural sites as a war crime.