Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of Russia’s most renowned composers, the first to win international fame. Vladimir Putin’s war has destroyed his former house in Ukraine, just one of countless cultural deprivations to go along with his slaughter of innocents.
This is the “special military operation” that Putin insists is somehow a “noble cause.”
Mariupol’s waterfront was a picture-postcard historic district; it’s been leveled along with 90 percent of the (largely Russian-speaking!) city by invaders who’ve killed tens of thousands. Putin’s forces managed a double-whammy in destroying the 135-year-old Drama Theatre while it served as a bomb shelter for hundreds of civilians.
“Mariupol is destroyed,” President Volodymyr Zelensky notes. “They tried to capture it in the most brutal way — just to destroy everything in the city.”
Overall, the invasion has damaged at least 71 cultural sites in Ukraine, per UNESCO: 31 religious sites, 26 historic buildings, six museums, a library and others.
That includes the 19th-century villa where Tchaikovsky composed his first symphonic work, The Storm, Op. 76. The month-long Russian occupation reduced the surrounding town of Trostyanets to rubble.
The 22 cultural sites damaged in hard-hit Kharkiv include the Drobitsky Yar Holocaust Memorial, which marks where roughly 16,000 Jews were killed during World War II.
Putin pretends to be a cultured man, and claims his war is somehow about preserving Russian civilization. All the evidence shows that he’s not full of contempt not only for innocent life, but for Ukrainian and Russian heritage.
The word in Russian is “nekulturny.”