During the war, the Russian army deliberately destroys not only civilians but also animals and the environment in general. For this reason, the NGO UAnimals launched an international information campaign urging to punish Russia for environmental crimes during the war.
The first stage of the campaign asks Ukrainians and all concerned to sign an international petition to the UN and the European Parliament: https://www.change.org/p/stop-ecocide-in-ukraine-punish-russia-for-the-crimes-against-environment.
“We call on the European Parliament, the United Nations, the parliaments of partner states, international organizations and institutions to condemn Russia's actions, to help stop crimes against the environment, to introduce additional sanctions against the Russian Federation, to help restore the ecological security of Ukraine and its environment, and to assist with the renewal of the Ukrainian ecosystem during the war and in the post-war period, including by reparations to be paid by the Russian Federation,” the statement says.
According to the data of the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine, the aggressive actions of the armed forces of the Russian Federation during the eight months of the war resulted in the following:
- 182,880 m2 of soil is polluted with harmful substances;
- 2,365,129 m2 of land is littered with remains of destroyed objects and ammunition;
- 680,618 tons of petroleum products were burned during the shelling, which resulted in significant air pollution;
- 23,286 hectares of forest were burned by rockets or projectiles, and it will take at least 10 years to restore some of the forest areas;
- 7,155,689 m2 of objects were destroyed, including critical infrastructure, which also caused significant damage to Ukraine's environment.
Currently, 20% of Ukraine's nature conservation areas are affected by this war. The Russians occupied 8 nature reserves and twelve national natural parks. Practically 80% of the territory of the "Holy Mountains" National Park was destroyed. There is a humanitarian crisis in the occupied "Ascania Nova". Ukrainian ecologists estimate that hundreds of thousands or even millions of wild animals could be killed. At the same time, over 6 million domestic animals died because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In April, Ukrainian scientists discovered more than 1000 square kilometres of oil pollution on the surface of the Black Sea, which appeared as a result of the activities of Russian aircraft and warships. Such environmental crimes together with the constant use of sonars attached to the underwater and surface Russian boats and the movements of ships belonging to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation (especially those equipped with sonars), have led to a significant reduction in the population of marine mammals. At least 50 thousand Black Sea dolphins died, not only near the Ukrainian coast of Odesa Region but also off the coast of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
The capture of the Zaporizhzhya NPP by Russian military forces, the accumulation of heavy weapons on the territory of the nuclear plant, the strikes from the buildings belonging to this critical infrastructure facility, as well as repair work conducted without the Ukrainian employees and representatives of the IAEA, create a potential radioactive threat not only for Ukraine but also for the whole of Europe. According to Ukrainian ecologists, in case of an explosion, the area of the potential exclusion zone will cover up to 30,000 km2.
You can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/stop-ecocide-in-ukraine-punish-russia-for-the-crimes-against-environment