July 20, 2023, 18:46

The environmental impact of the war – what the study showed and what steps are already being taken to restore it

The war unleashed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine, in addition to human grief, causes significant damage and losses to the environment. Thus, it is now known that the amount of recorded environmental damage is over UAH 2 trillion.

“30% of the country’s territory is contaminated with mines, which is roughly equivalent to the size of two Austria. On the territory of Ukraine, the equipment Russian troops left behind amounts to 527 thousand tons, which is like 10 Titanics.”

These data were provided by Stanislav Shum, СEO Top Lead, during the presentation of a study on the impact of Russian armed aggression on the environment of Ukraine at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“Our task is to bring to Western society’s attention so they also understand the appropriate steps the EU governments take to overcome these consequences. Such an awareness-raising mission aims to clarify for what purpose the measures are taken among the ordinary citizens and for the politicians who make decisions so that they also have an understanding of the scale of environmental damage that is happening here in Ukraine on the part of the aggressor,” explained Stanislav Shum.

At the same time, Natalia Slobodian, Head of the Climate Change and Environment Protection Department at DTEK, emphasized that since the outbreak of the all-out invasion, the Ukrainian energy sector has faced such large-scale and critical challenges as nuclear terrorism, falling demand, and targeted attacks on critical infrastructure, both generating and transmission capacity, for the first time.

She emphasized that the Ukrainian energy sector has actually become a target for the enemy and that the Russians have fired about 5,000 missiles at the territory of Ukraine, 25% of which targeted energy infrastructure facilities.

In addition, Natalia Slobodian noted that green energy is the key to security and uninterrupted energy supply for Ukraine.

“A missile attack can easily disable 200-400 MW of thermal generation. But it is almost impossible to do this, for example, with wind power generation, where the capacity of one turbine ranges from 5 to 6 MW. And by the way, during the planned power outages, it was green energy that allowed us not to reduce electricity supply to the residents of the South of Ukraine,” she explained.

In addition, she emphasized that there are three key factors why renewable energy development is important for Ukraine today: energy security, security and stability of energy supply, and business development opportunities, especially in terms of exporting clean electricity to European markets.

In addition, during the presentation of the study, Mykhailo Rizak, Director for Government Relations and Sustainable Development at NIBULON, noted that 7 million hectares of land that are currently mined is more than 25 million tons of crops that Ukraine is losing and receiving less revenue.

He also noted that the company was granted the status of a mine action operator to assist farmers in growing their produce. And in two months, from April to May, mine clearance operations have already taken place on 1,500 hectares and brought to operations through a non-technical inspection.

However, according to him, the biggest problem now is that “demining equipment is very expensive, and it is almost impossible to develop this area having no grant assistance.”

“We are now appealing to all donors in Ukraine and trying to explain that there are farmers who are gaining the mine action operator status. These are highly interested parties in quick and effective demining. Until the devices are cleared, crops cannot be planted. And it is the farms that are moving towards landmines clearance that needs to be helped with such equipment as much as possible. As a company, we are ready to work with donors to provide services to farmers at cost,” added Mykhailo Rizak.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news