War in Ukraine: A famous monastery hit by a Russian strike

A wooden church of a famous Orthodox monastery in eastern Ukraine has been destroyed following a new Russian bombardment, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, recalling that the previous one killed four monks there this week.

“Russian artillery today again struck the Svyatogirsk Lavra”, in the Donetsk region, one of the main Orthodox monasteries in Ukraine, the president wrote on Telegram posting a video of the skite of All Saints on fire. He recalled that the monastery had already been hit this week by Russian bombardments “having killed four monks and seriously injured four others”.

According to him, the lavra is also home to 300 civilians, including 60 children who are taking refuge there from the bombardments. The skite “was first destroyed in Soviet times. Subsequently, it was rebuilt. And now it has been set on fire by the Russian army,” the president protested, calling for Russia, a “barbaric” country, to be excluded from UNESCO.

The Moscow branch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine which manages this monastery has previously indicated that the fire in the skete had declared itself “following the hostilities”. “There is no immediate information on the victims,” ​​said in a press release this Church which has just broken with Russia.

The Dormition of the Mother of God Svyatogirsk Lavra is considered one of the three holiest sites in Ukraine for Orthodox believers. Before the war, it attracted thousands of pilgrims a year.

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