This report is the results of the research into impacts of Russia’s military aggression on the environment of Ukraine. It highlights and analyses the damage that Russian occupiers have caused to the environment during 9 months since the wide invasion of the war, which started in 2014. Historical examples of how environment has been affected by the wars and damage compensation mechanisms are outlined and reviewed in the report.
In 2014, the Russian Federation launched a brutal, bloody and destructive war against the sovereign state of Ukraine. The stated goal of this war, (as articulated by the Russian Federation), is to either assume total control over our state or to ensure its complete destruction. Both objectives are contrary to the right of the Ukrainian nation to self-determination and both are in direct conflict with the UN Charter of which the Russian Federation is a signatory. On 24 February, 2022, a new stage of the war began in the form of a full-scale offensive by the aggressor on all the borders of Ukraine. The tragic circumstances not only changed human destinies immediately, but also created new threats to Ukraine’s natural environment. So the impact of Russia’s crimes against the environment need to be examined, studied, condemned and indemnified for the future.
This work summarises and analyses the damage caused by the Russian occupiers to the environment of Ukraine during the first nine months of the war, between February and November 2022. It gives an assessment of the special features of the country’s economy and its energy industry and heavy industry that have created the prerequisites for the most significant environmental risks, not only for Ukraine but also for the entire continent. The subject of the analysis is all the territories that have been damaged, but the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv regions are the focal points of the report. The data necessary for the research was collected on the territories of these regions, including the testimonies of those who witnessed the events.