As air raid sirens sounded over Kyiv in late February, some of the staff at Ukraine's Ivan Honchar Museum decided to leave the relative safety of the bomb shelter and return to their desks to back up digital copies of its folk culture artifacts.

Days before Russia invaded, President Vladimir Putin had called Ukraine an artificial creation — words the ethnographic museum's staff saw as a threat to the distinctive Ukrainian culture they have dedicated their careers to documenting.

"We had a big responsibility to save this culture," said Myroslava Vertiuk, deputy head at the museum, whose collection includes art, paintings, clothing and musical instruments.