According to Ukraine’s Minister of Environmental Protection, Ruslan Strilets, the damage caused by the Russian invaders to Ukraine’s environment in six months of war has reached almost one trillion Hr. (over $24 bn). Ruslan made the statement during the briefing “Six months of war — how it has affected the environment” in the Media Center “Ukraine – Ukrinform”.
The minister was talking particularly about air pollution, land and water resources. Damage to soil and lands exceeds 138 billion hryvnias (almost $3.5 bn), while damage from harmful emissions into the air has already reached 823 billion hryvnias (over $20 bn).
“In six months of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, we have recorded more than 2,000 cases of the destruction of wildlife and of our ecosystems. We have already handed over 304 pieces of evidence to law enforcement agencies who are conducting investigations. The total amount of damage caused by the Russian Federation amounts to more than 962 billion Hr. – practically one trillion Hr,” the official said.
At the same time, Strilets stressed that since nature has no borders, Russia is effectively causing damage to the whole world.
“During these six months, more than 3,500 missiles have been fired at Ukraine, which all cause atmospheric air and land pollution. Taking into account all the explosions on the territory of our state, more than 46 million tons of pollutants have be thrust into the air,” the minister emphasized.
The forest fund of Ukraine has been critically affected. In just six months of the war, almost a third of Ukraine’s forests have suffered damage. At the same time, 600,000 hectares of forest are now under occupation and the number of forest fires has increased significantly. In 2021, there was only one large fire recorded in the country. In 2022 there have already been more than 100.
Separate methods and calculations are being applied to assess losses to Ukrainian forests, the Black and Azov seas, mineral resources, the nature reserve fund, and so on.
In related statistics:
- The Russians have occupied eight nature reserves and 12 national nature parks;
- Almost 80 percent of the territory of the “Holy Mountains” national park has been destroyed;
- In May, the Kinburn Spit burned for a whole week due to fighting; and
- There is an on-going humanitarian crisis in occupied Askania Nova.
Minister Strilets noted that he continues to calculate on-going losses since this is important for forming lawsuits against Russia and for receiving compensation for destruction to the environment.
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