According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the total environmental damage caused by russian aggression today amounts to more than UAH 2 trillion, or EUR 55.6 billion. This was announced by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in an address at the International Forum United for Justice. United for Nature.
The Head of Government added that half of these losses are due to air pollution from forest fires, missile attacks, and the burning of oil products. Land pollution is worth over UAH 980 billion, and water pollution is worth UAH 60 billion.
"The russian attack on the Kakhovka dam was the largest act of ecocide in the last 70 years. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the total damage caused by this attack alone exceeds UAH 146 billion (EUR 3.8 billion). Irrigation systems on farmland, which there was grown about 2 million tonnes of grain per year, were left without water. This amounts to 70% of the grain exported by Ukraine to Africa in 2022," the Prime Minister said.
Denys Shmyhal emphasized that every day the russian federation destroyed people, Ukrainian enterprises and infrastructure, the Ukrainian environment, air, land, forests and water bodies.
According to the Prime Minister, more than 174,000 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory are considered potentially mined. More than 3 million hectares of forest are affected by the war. He emphasized the importance of compensating for the damage at the expense of confiscated russian assets.
"At the Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik, the International Register of War Damage was introduced, which also contains an environmental component. This is the first element of the compensation mechanism. In general, it will have three components: a register of losses, a commission for reviewing claims, and a compensation fund. It is important that the fund is filled with confiscated russian assets. Then the principle of "russia will pay" will be realized," said Denys Shmyhal.
Ukraine continues to calculate and verify the damage caused to the environment by the war. For this purpose, according to the Prime Minister, an International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War is operating within the framework of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula. The first result of this group, in his opinion, should be a draft environmental agreement that will create conditions for reliable environmental protection, ending ecocide and paying reparations.
"Not only Ukraine needs this, the world needs it. To protect humankind from a global catastrophe, to prevent new acts of aggression and deliberate destruction of the environment," summarized Denys Shmyhal.