How Ukrainians are saving art during the war

And the long history of why protecting physical culture matters.

Subscribe and turn on notifications ???? so you don't miss any videos:

Despite the fact that it’s a war crime to target cultural heritage, cultural sites are often treated as a second front: looted, damaged, or destroyed as a way for an aggressor to assert power, demoralize an enemy, and control — or even erase — a cultural narrative.

From the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, identity has been at the center of Putin’s agenda. And as cultural sites all over the country sustain damage, it is becoming increasingly clear that erasing the cultural and historical markers of Ukraine are a key facet of Russia’s plan.

Ukraine is home to a vast array of visual and material culture — museums, monuments, archives, and architecture — all of which is at grave risk of destruction, both collateral and intentional.

We spoke with three experts actively working to safeguard Ukraine’s artistic treasures:
Dr. Hayden Bassett, director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab (CHML);

Vasyl Mystko, director of communications for Lviv’s Gallery of Art ;

and Catarina Buchatskiy, co-founder of the Shadows Project

Here’s the link to the Ukrainian Cultural Ministry’s repository for cultural crimes that we mentioned in the video:

If you’re interested in volunteering remotely, Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) is working to identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions.

Or check out the Network of European Museum Organizations (NEMO). They’re collecting a list of some organizations in contact with Ukrainians on the ground:

Make sure you never miss behind the scenes content in the Vox Video newsletter, sign up here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

Support Vox's reporting with a one-time or recurring contribution:

Shop the Vox merch store:

Watch our full video catalog:

Follow Vox on Facebook:
Follow Vox on Twitter:
Follow Vox on TikTok:
Be the first to comment