May 24, 2024
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By Ukrainska Pravda

The Russian drone attack on Khmelnytskyi Oblast, which occurred on the night of 18-19 August, caused damage to the Medzhybizh State Historical and Cultural Reserve.

The blast wave damaged several buildings of the Medzhybizh Fortress, which is an architectural monument of the 16th century officially registered in the State Register of National Cultural Heritage. In particular, the Knight’s Tower of the 15th century, St Michael’s Church of 1586 and the local museum of the Holodomor all suffered from the attack.

“At about 3:20 on 19 August, a blast wave damaged the windows; locks were broken; doors opened… The roof on the highest Knight’s Tower, which is 37 metres high, has been damaged,” said Oleh Pohorilets, director of the reserve, quoted by Ukrinform.

According to Pohorilets, damage to the tower is the greatest damage to the reserve. “The support structures have been damaged, and of course, there is now a danger that these sheets can be torn by the wind during a storm, creating a danger to people, and, of course, that natural factors, such as rains, can harm the building itself,” said the director of the reserve to Suspile Khmelnytskyi.

Yevhenii Nahurnyi, researcher of the Medzhybizh reserve, said that a large crack appeared on the wall in the museum of the Holodomor, located in one of the buildings.

A crack in the Holodomor Museum. Photo: Suspile Khmelnytskyi

In addition, according to Nahurnyi, during the Russian attack, the windows were blown out, the stained glass windows were damaged, and the door was torn out in St Michael’s Church of 1586, located on the territory of the fortress.

On Monday 21 August, Nahurnyi stated that a special commission worked with the police on the territory of the reserve, recording the destruction and assessing the amount of damage.

The reserve hopes to restore the damage with the assistance of philanthropists, said Pohorilets. “I think, most likely, the restoration of the reserve will take place in the good traditions of our work with charitable foundations, which will quickly be able to help us glaze the windows, repair the doors and inspect the roof of the Knight’s Tower,” the director added.

Medzhybizh Fortress is the second-most visited fortress in Khmelnytskyi Oblast. Since 2001, it has had the status of a State Historical and Cultural Reserve.

This is a monument of fortification architecture of the XVI century, built in a mixed style, from the stone construction of the Lithuanian era to the Eastern European Renaissance and pseudo-Gothic of the XIX century. It has also entered the State Register of National Cultural Heritage of Ukraine. Monuments of architecture of national importance are also separate objects on the territory of the reserve: the palace complex, the church of St Nicholas, walls and towers.

In April 2022, the castle was granted official status as a full member of the European Cultural Route by the Forte Cultura fortification monuments.

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