Russia has destroyed 131 Ukrainian libraries


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The Russian army has destroyed 131 public libraries in Ukraine, and nearly 750 more are damaged, as reported by Valentina Zdanovska, senior librarian of Yaroslav Mudryi National Library of Ukraine (Kyiv), during the All-Ukrainian Scientific Conference “Russia’s War against Ukraine (February 2014 – February 2024): The Reception of War.”


“According to our research, during the two years of full-scale invasion, 131 public libraries have been completely destroyed in Ukraine. Additionally, 746 libraries have suffered various degrees of damage and are in need of major repairs. Preliminary estimates suggest that repairs would cost a minimum of 100 million UAH (US$2.6 million),” she mentioned.


She also said that 156 libraries were successfully restored. When libraries are destroyed, their premises are repurposed into village councils, churches, and modular buildings.


“415 libraries lost some portion of their collections. In 2022–2023, 134 public libraries were destroyed completely, with all the publications they held. We matched the data in the electronic monitoring system. Currently, library collection losses amount to more than 1.5 million publications,” Zdanovska noted.


Since March 2022, the Yaroslav Mudryi National Library of Ukraine has been conducting a study titled “Public Libraries of Ukraine in the Face of Russian Armed Aggression” in partnership with regional libraries.


As reported earlier, during the full-scale invasion the Russian army destroyed or damaged 1,938 Ukrainian cultural infrastructure objects.


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Main image: Victoriia Lisohor’s archive

Translation: Kateryna Yeromenko

Editing: Tanya Mykhaylychenko