Six months of Russia-Ukraine War takes toll on environment

Via Pexels

Grace Smith | August 26, 2022

About half a year ago, the Russia-Ukraine War started, which also formed a large environmental toll on Ukraine. Ukraine is one of Europe’s most industrial countries with coal mines, chemical plants, etc. The constant shelling over areas where these industries sit is harming nearby rivers and soil, jeopardizing its biodiversity. 

When Russian shelling exploded near certain Ukrainian industrial sites in July, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine reported that those shellings caused a fire to release toxic substances that could easily be carried by wind through a vast amount of land. 

In addition to shellings, over 5,000 Moscow military wrecks have occurred over the six months, which the Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group (UNCG) said can continue to leak fuel after the wreck. “Russian tanks can carry between 500 and 1,600 litres of fuel,” UNGC told France 24, a news publication. “These contain lead and other heavy metals, polycyclic arenes found in all fossil fuels and a number of other volatile organic compounds.”

UNCG released a list of native plants, once preserved, that are now disappearing or threatened because of the passage of Russian vehicles on Ukrainian land. In addition, at least 37,867 fires caused by combat have covered over 247,000 acres of land, destroying 82,000 acres of protected land. 

Not only is Ukraine hurting from the war, but India is experiencing an increase in soybean and maize prices. As of March, corn pricing increased 25 percent as of January, challenging the ability to feed livestock like poultry.

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