Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture enlists Uber to rescue national treasures

Aurel Constantin 12/09/2022 | 12:53

The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s National Research and Restoration Center (NRRC) has partnered with Uber to locate, restore, and protect Ukraine’s national and cultural heritage using a custom-built version of the Uber app.


With many of Ukraine’s museums, religious buildings, and historic sites under threat from the war, NRRC’s partnership with Uber is providing a lifeline to irreplaceable artworks and artefacts of importance to the country’s history and identity.

A custom-built version of the Uber app, Uber Restore, allows NRRC to request 12-passenger vehicles to transport conservationists and specialist equipment free of charge to cities, towns, and villages across Ukraine.

Since May, NRRC has used Uber Restore to reach over 100 locations – travelling more than 20,000km – to locate and protect tens of thousands of artworks and artefacts, while evacuating those at greatest risk for storage in secure locations.

Svitlana Strelnikova, Director of NRRC, said:The war launched by Russia against Ukraine has caused irreparable damage and destruction to our country’s independent historical and cultural heritage, including unique works of art, religious artefacts, and historical documents about the formation and development of Ukrainian statehood. The National Research and Restoration Center is carrying out its mission to rescue this heritage from continued destruction by rocket strikes, artillery shelling, and other attacks. Our partnership with Uber has delivered remarkably positive results, allowing our experts to already reach more than 100 cultural and historic sites, including many in formerly occupied territories that sustained significant destruction, and to preserve the unique cultural heritage and independent identity of the Ukrainian people.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said: “We’re proud to be assisting Ukraine in its efforts to protect the country’s cultural heritage which is under threat from this devastating war. Using a custom-built version of the Uber app, we’re enabling conservationists to carry out their critical work to safeguard Ukraine’s national identity, with free on-demand access to safe and reliable transportation.”

Alongside launching Uber Restore, Uber has been working around the clock to provide support inside Ukraine over the past six months.

The company offered free trips for refugees, doctors, nurses, blood donors, local government workers, and NGOs across Ukraine. In partnership with the UN World Food Program, Uber helped to deliver emergency food relief to communities in urgent need. In Lviv, the company launched Uber Connect & Van service with a special promocode for donating goods to internally displaced people. Together with the charity organisation Nova Ukraine, Uber joined the Liki24 initiative, which allows people who cannot buy medicine at full cost to receive 50% compensation for purchased medicine; as part of this initiative, Uber provided promocodes for free delivery of orders through the Uber Connect service. Uber also launched a joint initiative with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Kyiv-based charity organisation “Soloma Cats” to provide free rides to almost 100 medical facilities across Ukraine for reliable and safe transportation of medical workers.

In total, the company has raised more than 3.5 million US dollars for humanitarian support in Ukraine globally, of which more than 1 million US dollars were matched by Uber. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Uber has expanded its essential transportation services to 12 additional cities.

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