War in Ukraine

Yes, Russia's War Against Ukraine Is Also an Environment and Climate Issue. Here's Why

Yes, Russia's War Against Ukraine Is Also an Environment and Climate Issue. Here's Why

Today, as we observe World Climate Change Day, it's imperative to shine a light on the lesser-discussed consequence of wars: their environmental impact.

Amidst Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine, the environmental devastation is staggering. From scorched forests to polluted waters, the toll on Ukraine's ecosystems is profound. Here, we delve into the numbers that underscore the gravity of the situation.

Forest Fires

Amid the chaos of war, Ukraine's skies bear the burden of conflict. With over 47 million tons of emissions and 67,109 hectares of burnt forests and vegetation, the damage tally reaches a staggering $25.52 billion USD. The cost, both in economic and ecological terms, is immense.

Oil Fires

The conflict's impact extends to Ukraine's oil resources. Over 3 million tons of oil, along with oil products and gas, have gone up in flames, releasing over 56 million tons of emissions into the air. The resulting damage stands at $3.5 billion USD, further exacerbating the environmental crisis.

Emissions of Toxic Pollutants into the Air

Beyond oil fires, the conflict has unleashed a torrent of pollutants into Ukraine's air. With 82 tons of uncontrolled emissions, the environmental toll continues to mount. Though seemingly small in quantity, the damage is valued at $157,657 USD.

Land Resources

The conflict's footprint is evident on Ukraine's land. With over 19 million square meters of polluted land and 840,781 square meters of contaminated soil, the damage extends far beyond the battlegrounds. The economic cost, valued at $27.5 billion USD.

Water Resources

The war has also severely impacted Ukraine's water resources. Over 1,778 tons of pollutants have entered water bodies, causing damage worth $1.5 billion USD. Additionally, the war has led to the littering of water bodies with 36,355,704 kg of waste, resulting in further economic losses of $222 million USD.

Destroyed Russian Equipment

The toll of war extends beyond emissions and pollution. With over 65,000 pieces of destroyed equipment and over a million tons of waste, the environmental impact is stark. The release of over 100,000 tons of emissions into the atmosphere further exacerbates the crisis.

Destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant

The Russian bombing of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant has caused widespread flooding, affecting 63,447 hectares of forests, impacting 1,144 households, and reducing water volume by 14.395 cubic kilometers. The overall environmental damage from this incident is estimated at $3.6 million USD.

As we witness the devastating impact of Russia's war on Ukraine's environment, it's crucial to raise awareness and support Ukraine's efforts to address this ecocide. We must stand together to protect our planet and hold Russia accountable for the environmental damage it has caused.

Ukraine's Efforts to Address the Environmental Crisis

Despite the ongoing war, Ukraine's Ministry of Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources is actively working to assess the environmental damage and develop plans for remediation. The ministry is also engaged in efforts to restore ecological systems and protect the environment in areas affected by the war.

For more information on the effect of Russia’s war against Ukraine on climate visit: Photos used from Liberov.

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