Russian troops burned 26,000 hectares of forest in Luhansk region shutterstock

Russian troops burned 26,000 hectares of forest in Luhansk region

Katerina Belousova

Damage will continue to rise

In the Lugansk region, as a result of the actions of russian troops, fires destroyed 26,043 hectares of forest, which caused damage to the environment in the amount of about UAH 98.7 billion.

The main coordinator of the Operational Headquarters, Deputy of Ukraine Elena Krivoruchkina told about it for EcoPolitic.

She noted that such an amount was calculated by the specialists of the Operational Headquarters for 13 cases of fires. They made calculations based on data obtained using the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), Open Foris and NASA FIRMS.

Krivoruchkina noted that the amount of damage will continue to grow.

"In many recorded cases containing signs of environmental crimes, the experts of the Operational Headquarters do not yet have the opportunity to conduct a full inspection and take the necessary samples, obtain documents or additional satellite observation data. First of all, this concerns the occupied territories and war zones," she noted. 

After the de-occupation of these territories, work on fixing the crimes of russia will continue.

"It is very important for Ukraine to collect data of the highest quality, because in the future they will become the evidence base in international judicial instances, within which russia will be held accountable for all crimes," she added.

The Operational Headquarters has been functioning since March 1, 2022 and is working to fix, streamline information and form a unified register of damage caused to the environment as a result of the russian invasion. The headquarters includes representatives of the Ecological Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Specialized Environmental Prosecutor's Office and representatives of other state bodies and civil society.

Also, the Headquarters has a Working Group, which currently includes 73 national and international experts from various industries.

At the end of May, in the Lugansk region, russian troops destroyed more than 17 thousand hectares of forest, causing damage to the environment in the amount of 38.3 billion hryvnia.

As EcoPolitic reported earlier, in Ukraine, in the 4 months since the start of a full-scale invasion, russian troops have caused damage to the land and air in the amount of almost 254.3 billion hryvnia, according to the calculations of the Operational Headquarters.

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