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06 Nov. 2023

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The amount of damage is estimated in trillions: how russia's aggression has harmed the nature of Ukraine

Krieg
Ukraine

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The amount of damage is estimated in trillions: how russia's aggression has harmed the nature of Ukraine

Ukraine has become a victim of environmental crimes by the russian federation. One of the most large-scale disasters that the occupants brought to the neighboring country was the undermining of the Kakhovska hydroelectric power plant, as well as large-scale shelling of Ukrainian territory. Read more about how much the war is affecting Ukrainian nature and how much money russia already owes for its restoration

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Today, on November 6, the world celebrates the International Day for the Prevention of Environmental Exploitation in War and Armed Conflict. This day has become especially significant for Ukraine, as the full-scale war in this country has been going on for almost two years. During this time, the russian army has used all types of weapons on Ukrainian territory, except for nuclear weapons. The use of bombs, mines, and other types of weapons has led to thousands of fires and pollution of huge areas.


We should also not forget how many environmental disasters the russian occupation army caused on the territory of Ukraine during the war. The largest of them were the blowing up of the Kakhovka dam, shelling of oil depots and large industrial facilities.


The war brought by russia is mercilessly destroying nature - air, water, land and animals are suffering because of it.


Russia's environmental crimes


Since the full-scale attack, the russian army has committed about 2,500 environmental crimes, Ukrainian Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strelets told Ukrainian Radio.


Most of the crimes are damages from uncontrolled emissions into the atmosphere, as well as land contamination with waste. The rest are water pollution, destruction of forests and ecosystems.


The war has also affected more than three million hectares of forest, which is one third of all forests in Ukraine. 


The main factors of the negative impact of such fires are common to different ecosystems: the death of a huge number of individuals of various species of fauna and flora, air pollution with sulfur and nitrogen compounds, unburned hydrocarbons, heavy metals accumulated in biomass, etc., as well as emissions of large amounts of carbon dioxide.)


The threat of a nuclear catastrophe


In addition to the crimes already committed, the russian government constantly talks about the threat of nuclear weapons, intimidating the West and Ukraine into sitting down at the negotiating table.


As you know, during the full-scale war, the russian army seized two nuclear power plants - Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia. However, Ukrainian troops managed to liberate the nuclear power plant in Chornobyl, but the plant in Zaporizhzhia region is still under occupation.


It is there that the russians have equipped a fortified area and brought in a bunch of weapons and equipment that pose the greatest threat to the nuclear power plant.


According to Inna Goch, a representative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), radioactive contamination from the destruction of the nuclear power plant will make large areas uninhabitable.




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Damage to Ukrainian nature


According to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine has caused more than UAH 2 trillion in damage to the environment.


"We are counting every destroyed tree. And every hryvnia that russia will pay us for what they have done. Every day we continue to establish new facts of damage and destruction. According to preliminary estimates, the total damage to the environment is already more than UAH 2 trillion: this includes land contamination, air pollution, burned forests, and destroyed facilities," explained Ruslan Grechanyk, First Deputy Head of the Ministry.


We remind you! On June 17, the whole world celebrated the Day of Combating Desertification and Drought, dedicated to the need to preserve fertile soils. At that time, we described the consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant by russians. Read more here.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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