Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday he was speechless after Russian shelling destroyed a museum dedicated to 18th-century philosopher and poet Hryhory Skvoroda.
The roof of the museum was attacked in an overnight attack in the village of Skvorodinivka in eastern Ukraine, setting the building on fire and injuring a 35-year-old patron. Kharkiv regional governor Ole Sinegubov said the most valuable items were first taken to safety.
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“Every day of this war, the Russian military does something that leaves me speechless. But then the next day, it does something else that makes you feel the same way again,” Zelensky said in a late-night video address .
“Targeted attacks against museums – terrorists won’t even think about it. But this is the kind of army we are fighting against.”
Skvoroda, of Ukrainian Cossack origin, spent the last years of his life in the village of Ivanovka, which was later named in his honor – Skvorodinivka.
“This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great philosopher,” Sinegubov said in a post on social media. “The occupiers can destroy the museum where Hrihori Skovoroda worked in the last years of his life and where he was buried. But they will not destroy our memory and our values.”
Moscow called its actions a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fueled by the West. Ukraine and the West maintain that Russia launched an act of aggression without provocation.