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Widespread destruction of Ukraine’s museums, theaters and libraries, the persecution of writers and artists, and other attacks against Ukrainian heritage expose the breadth of Russia’s attempts to erase the country’s cultural identity as a tactic of war, according to a new report by PEN America and PEN Ukraine released today.

The new report on cultural erasure details how Russian forces have destroyed or damaged not only national cultural buildings including historic and religious sites but also many smaller community sanctuaries in towns and villages where people meet to enjoy art, music, writing, and other forms of culture. The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said on November 17 that 529 cultural heritage and cultural institutions have been damaged or destroyed since the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion.

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