Why have Russians destroyed thousands of Ukrainian libraries?

A destroyed children’s library in Chernihiv / Photo: Valentin Bobir @ Suspilne News

Stephen Marche published today an article about the war in Ukraine with a focus on libraries and the role of Ukrainian librarians.

Since the start of the invasion, Russians have destroyed more than 300 libraries in Ukraine. Among them are not only state and university libraries.

In April 2022, Russians deliberately shelled a children’s library in Chernihiv, 100 kilometers south of the three-way Ukrainian-Belarusian-Russian border crossing at Senkivka.

According to a survey, conducted by the National Library of Ukraine in May, 19 libraries were completely destroyed, 115 partially destroyed and 124 permanently damaged. They have also destroyed “several thousand school libraries at least“.

Why are Ukrainian libraries such important targets for Russians? They don’t pose any military threat, do they?

💬 When Russia invaded Ukraine, a key part of its strategy was to destroy historic libraries in order to eradicate the Ukrainians’ sense of identity.

Libraries are on the frontline, but Putin hadn’t counted on the unbreakable spirit of the Ukrainian librarians.

Full article: “Our mission is crucial”: meet the warrior librarians of Ukraine – The Guardian

Photos & more info: Valentin Bobir & Volodymyr Oleksienko / Library for the youth in Chernihiv – Suspline News

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