Map of Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine presented to Russian ambassador

The map was created following a special field survey conducted recently in light of the continuing fighting. The survey examined the conditions of the Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine.

 War crime prosecutor's team member speaks on the phone next to buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine April 7, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA)
War crime prosecutor's team member speaks on the phone next to buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine April 7, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA)

The locations of Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine were passed on to Anatoly Viktorov, Russia's Ambassador to Israel by Yaakov Hagoel, the chairman of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) on Wednesday. 

In light of the great risk of damage to national Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine, Hagoel shared a map of the Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine with the Russian ambassador in order to avoid as much accidental damage to the sites as possible.

Ukraine is home to some of the most important and sensitive heritage sites for the Jewish people.

WZO chairman Yaakov Hagoel

The map was created following a special field survey conducted recently by the organization in light of the continuing fighting. The survey examined the conditions of the Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine.

There are many sites of unique national importance that constitute memorial sites and the heritage of the Jewish people. Among them are memorial sites and monuments to Holocaust victims, like the ones in Babyn Yar, Lviv and Donetsk, Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and tombs of significant Jewish figures. 

The field inspection showed that a number of sites have already been damaged and many are at risk of unintentional damage due to the fighting. At the end of the meeting, Viktorov said that he would forward the report to Moscow immediately.

 The ambassador of Russia to Israel Anatoly Viktorov speaks at a news conference at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN) The ambassador of Russia to Israel Anatoly Viktorov speaks at a news conference at the Russian Consulate in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

"Preserving human life is our top priority, which is why we are conducting an unprecedented operation to rescue Jews from the war zones and even bring them to Israel," said Hagoel.

"As a national organization of the Jewish people working for its continued existence and heritage, we must do everything in our power to preserve these sites for future generations, especially in light of the risks created in the area due to the ongoing fighting," he added.