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Unesco sounds alarm: Russian war threatens historic Ukrainian sites in Kiev and Lviv

The Unesco has said that historical sites in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and the city of Lviv are in danger of destruction due to Russia's ongoing war.

According to UN cultural body, the sites include the iconic Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, the medieval buildings of the city's Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery site and the historic centre in Lviv, the BBC reported.

These sites have been placed on Unesco's List of World Heritage in Danger.

In a statement, the unesco said its World Heritage Committee had concluded that "optimal conditions are no longer met to fully guarantee the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and that it is threatened by potential danger due to the war".

"Faced with the risk of direct attack, these sites are also vulnerable to the shockwaves caused by the bombing of the two cities."

Lviv's historic old town was founded in the Middle Ages and has maintained much of its architectural and cultural heritage as an administrative, religious and commercial centre from the 13th to the 20th centuries, reports the BBC.

It was added to the World Heritage List in 1998.

The Saint Sophia Cathedral, meanwhile, was built in the 11th century and was designed to rival the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, which was then part of Constantinople.

It is one of the few surviving buildings from that age.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, otherwise known as Kiev's Monastery of the Caves, was founded at around the same time as the cathedral.

It is the oldest monastic complex of the Rus people, who lived in eastern Europe during the Middle Ages, and became a prominent spiritual and cultural centre.

The latest additions to the danger list come after the Ukrainian port city of Odesa was added in January.

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