A small provincial museum dedicated to the life and work of Ukrainian philosopher and theologian Hryhoriy (Gregory) Skovoroda was destroyed by a Russian missile strike in the Kharkiv region late Friday.
A gypsum statue of him survived the bombing and fire in one piece, barely tarnished.
Born in 1722 in what is now eastern Ukraine, in the possessions of imperial Russia, Skovoroda led a monastic life of simplicity and dedication to the faith.
He received a thorough education in Christianity and classical literature and lived between Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg, then the capital of Imperial Russia.
He was most influential at the end of his life, walking the countryside, teaching and writing the posthumously published works that would have a profound impact on Russian and Ukrainian culture and spiritual life.