Environmental terrorism of the Russian Federation in Ukraine
During the war, Russia not only kills Ukrainians and destroys the country's infrastructure, but at the same time it commits environmental crimes and destroys Ukraine's environment every day. The ecological situation is deteriorating catastrophically due to the war. Mined fields, burned forests, polluted reservoirs, animals, and birds die, because their natural environment is destroyed. In order to find out what damage the aggressor country caused to the nature of our country, ArmyInform turned to the State Environmental Inspection, which determines the level of damage and losses caused to the environment, in particular, due to hostilities.
According to the State Inspectorate, since the beginning of the military aggression of the Russian Federation, as of March 10, 2023, the damage caused to the environment of Ukraine amounts to about 2 trillion UAH.
The damage caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation to the natural environment in terms of resource directions is as follows:
- UAH 11.8 billion — soil pollution;
- UAH 844 billion — littering of land with "war" waste;
- UAH 988.9 billion — atmospheric air pollution;
- UAH 57.3 billion — pollution of water bodies.
Currently, the territorial and interregional territorial bodies of the State Inspectorate continue to inspect territories, particularly recently deoccupied ones. Currently, we can say that the greatest damage to the environment was caused in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions. Part of these territories is still occupied, so it is still impossible to assess the real extent of the damage.
2.9 million hectares of the Emerald Network are in the risk zone — territories that need protection at the pan-European level. According to ecologists, these territories are important in protecting biodiversity and preserving the climate. The Emerald Network protects the brown bear, black stork, lynx, white-tailed eagle, and hundreds of other species of animals and plants.
Currently, 8 nature reserves and 10 national natural parks remain under occupation.
Among them are the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve on the territory and water area of the Kherson and partly Mykolaiv regions, the "Askania-Nova" biosphere reserve, the Azov-Syvash National Nature Park, the "Oleshkivski Pisky" park, the "Dzharylgatsky" park in the Kherson region.
As a result of the hostilities, nature protection services are often unable to fulfill their functions and ensure the preservation of rare species, and some nature reserves and national parks are on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
The war covered about 3 million hectares of forest in Ukraine. Approximately 23,300 hectares of forests were burned, and some of them were lost. Fighting is taking place in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. These regions are characterized by low forest coverage. Here, forests perform protective functions. Their destruction and damage will affect the climate of these regions and may lead to significant erosion processes. In particular, in the south of Ukraine, the consequences may be wind erosion and desertification. This, of course, will affect agriculture.
The war has already become the biggest environmental disaster in Ukraine, the consequences of which are still difficult to assess. To carry out a detailed analysis of the consequences, develop a recovery plan and begin its implementation, it is necessary to stop the war and regain control over the occupied territories.