Borodianka may have suffered the most from the invaders’ actions in the Kyiv region. This is a picturesque and progressive town where everyone felt safe before a full-scale war. However, under Russian occupation, the town was reduced to absolute ruins in 38 days.
This locality has no military units, warehouses, or facilities of strategic importance. Nonetheless, Russian troops destroyed almost all of the administrative infrastructure here and significantly damaged the housing stock. Borodyanka, a peaceful town, was bombed with rockets, and its residents were tortured and killed.
At the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, enemy planes flew low and fired rockets at the town’s residential buildings. As a result, the central street has become a dumping ground, with destroyed high-rise buildings, road surfaces, fallen trees, and burned cars. People were not saved by bomb shelters because the basements were also filled with debris as a result of the massive scale of the destruction. The surviving residents endured shelling, bombing, and rocket attacks, as well as hunger, cold, occupation, and humiliation from monsters on tanks with death symbols.
Against this backdrop, the residents’ mute and effective resistance to the enemy was striking. People survived and returned immediately after the occupation to heal the wounds of their homes as well as restore and continue the life of their region. Thus, the burned, mutilated, and tortured Borodyanka became a symbol of fortitude and willpower.
It’s no coincidence that the world’s most famous street artist Banksy left his graffiti depicting a gymnast – Katya Dyachenko, an 11-year-old girl from Mariupol – on the ruins of a nine-story building with a projectile arch. This talented young lady died beneath the rubble of her house, which had been hit by a Russian shell. Her tragic fate was covered by the entire world press.
Another graffiti adorned the wall of the kindergarten “Buratino” dilapidated boiler room. It depicts a boy throwing a man who resembles putin to the ground.
Both pieces of graffiti were created by the artist on October 30, 2022. During his work, he willingly communicated with local residents through an interpreter. Back in England, Banksy confirmed ownership of these works on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Borodyanka’s devastation is massive. 33 critical social infrastructure objects require urgent reconstruction and restoration, and residents dream of a renovated hometown that organically combines Ukrainian identity and the best European practices.
We invite you to join our initiative and contribute to the restoration of one of the most damaged important cultural objects, the Borodyanka Palace of Culture n.a. T.H. Shevchenko. The building has always been a ‘jewel’ of the town, the center of the community’s cultural and sporting life, the education of children, and the center for the preservation of cultural heritage, which the occupiers purposefully destroyed.
As a result of armed aggression and fighting on the village’s territory, the Palace premises were shelled by enemy military machines, destroyed, and looted. The blast wave from the bombing shattered all windows, doors and glass structures. Cracks covered the walls, the stairs in the left part of the building shifted, and shell fragments cut the roof. Technical facilities have been destroyed or stolen. The administrative building is mostly in ruins and needs major repairs.
The reconstructed Palace of Culture can later serve as a platform for the children’s music school of arts, which was completely destroyed by the enemy, along with all of its material resources, which must also be restored.
Today, we must work together to preserve our culture and historical monuments for future generations.
You can make your personal contribution to the rescue and preservation of our European culture by demonstrating a high level of social responsibility and empathy, and by assisting the affected community in recovering from the collective trauma of war.
Let’s do it together!
Link to the book
Stories of Destruction, Rescue and Survival,
Borodyanka: from February 24 to March 31, 2022