Invisible harm from war: due to massive pollution from shelling, entire regions can be left without drinking water
It is difficult even to calculate how much damage war does to our environment because every day brings a new disaster. But it is already clear that it is necessary to ring all the bells on this occasion.
Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, from which rashists make a nuclear mine for the entire continent, burned forests and nature reserves on the verge of extinction, a danger to drinking water, and not only in Ukraine, and toxic emissions from deadly missiles into the air – a shattered ecosystem of one country threatens the entire planet with a domino effect, TSN says.
The harm and resentment from missile strikes on peaceful cities is catastrophic. In addition to human lives, this is also a huge material damage, but there is another problem that is invisible to our eyes. Each cruise missile contains up to one and a half tons of fuel. In order for it to be suitable for 30 years, toxic substances are added to it. When a rocket flies, they are thrown into the atmosphere, and we breathe it. It is not yet possible to assess the damage, but for reference: on February 24, Russia launched more than 3,000 winged “killers” in Ukraine.
In addition to cruise missiles, the atmosphere is constantly polluted by fires. Forest, field, especially industrial enterprises or oil refineries, on which there were many planned enemy attacks in the spring.
Attacks on industrial facilities continue to this day almost every day. It is a pity from this not only to the air, but also to the earth, and in some places to groundwater.
“Damage to industrial facilities, these pollutions are by far the most massive and significant that we are seeing now. The consequences, but it will be possible to calculate later because now access to these facilities is not available everywhere or they are limited,” says Natalya Gozak, director of the Ecodia NGO.
The public environmental organization, headed by Natalia Gozak, has already recorded more than 400 cases of the potential or actual threat of environmental damage since the beginning of active hostilities. Most of all, he says, in the Kharkiv region, and also in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where, in particular, mines are flooded, which poses a threat of drinking water pollution.
“Entire regions may not have access to drinking water,” experts say.
Therefore, as soon as access to these mines is available, the water should be pumped out. And to count, and not only the volume of environmental damage, they say in the State Ecological Inspectorate, where protocols for fixing such crimes are being changed.
“The estimated amount of damage in terms of atmospheric and land damage is about UAH 200 billion. We now consider only direct losses, but there are still a lot of non-direct losses. Where we are now working out, how to calculate correctly. For example: 1 hectare of forest burned down with an average age of pines of 30 years. Direct damage is the cost of how much profit is not received from the sale of wood, the following: there will be no trees in this place for 30 years, because they will still grow, then there will be no mushrooms and berries – these are no longer direct losses, and how many these trees do not clear atmospheric air,” says Andriy Vagin, deputy head of the Kyiv Region State Ecological Inspectorate.
For a professional assessment and correct recording of damage to the environment, an operational headquarters was created in the spring, under the State Environmental Inspectorate, with more than 70 scientists from all over the world. After all, environmental damage concerns not only our country because the movement of polluted water or air does not take into account state borders.
“Somewhere, there may be pollution of the Dnieper River, which flows further into the Black Sea, and this is already affecting other countries, that is, we are talking about the level of influence at the continental level,” adds Andrey Vagin.
The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhya, has been classified as a potential threat to the whole of Europe and even to humanity and is occupied by the Russians. Near which, the invader does not hesitate to open fire or launch cruise missiles. And the other day it became known that the occupiers are placing heavy weapons and explosives right in the working areas of the station.
Natural reserves are also in a catastrophic state, some of which have been occupied, or fighting is happening next to them. Almost a quarter of all property is on the verge of extinction: Askania Nova, 4 biosphere reserves, the biodiversity of our seas, and separate areas with snowdrops. So, only the Black Sea coast recorded the death of thousands of dolphins. Ecologists say that while the war is going on, there is no way to save Ukraine’s natural resources. The damage from Russia’s aggressive actions may turn out to be, if not irreversible; then it will undoubtedly take decades to restore the natural environment.