Ukraine estimates US$19.6 billion in cultural and tourism losses due to conflict

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1st March 2024 – (Hong Kong) Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal disclosed the substantial economic impact of the ongoing conflict with Russia on Ukraine’s heritage and tourism. The nation has faced losses amounting to at least $19.6 billion in these sectors.

During the course of the conflict, approximately 900 sites of historical and cultural significance have been either completely destroyed or significantly damaged. The Prime Minister relayed this sombre statistic, underscoring the extensive cultural toll the war has exacted on the country.

In a move to systematically address this cultural calamity, the Kyiv government is in the process of establishing a special register. This register is intended to catalogue the cultural and tourism facilities that have been lost or impaired due to the conflict. It aims to serve as an instrumental mechanism in quantifying the damages and will be pivotal in determining the compensation to be sought from Russia.

Prime Minister Shmyhal specified that Ukraine is in need of $8.9 billion for the rehabilitation and restoration of the affected cultural landmarks and tourist attractions. The restoration of these sites is crucial, not only for their cultural and historical value but also for their role in revitalising the tourism industry, an important source of revenue for the country.