January 24, 2024, 15:01

russians militarizing places of worship in temporarily occupied territories by turning them into military headquarters and ammunition depots

The russians are turning religious buildings into military headquarters and ammunition depots, with the bell towers of Orthodox churches used as sniping spots.

Ruslan Khalikov, religious studies scholar, Head of the “Religion on Fire” project, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

“Shelling of religious buildings is not the only violation of International Humanitarian Law. More specifically, russian troops often adapt and militarize places of worship. This is also a systemic phenomenon occurring throughout the whole of occupied territory. Specifically, (religious buildings were turned into – Ed.) military facilities containing either military headquarters or weapons depots. We also observed it in Bucha, Melitopol, as well as in Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions – in various regions, which the russian army entered. We record that they use churches as ammunition depots, or, for example, Orthodox church bell towers are used as sniping spots,” said Ruslan Khalikov.

In his opinion, the fact that such cases of militarization of religious objects are a common occurrence in various regions means that it is a systematic practice for the russians.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news