UKRAINE, KHARKIV OBLAST, June 17 — Russian troops shell forests to set a fire and harm the ecosystem and civilians, reported Oleh Syniehubov, Kharkiv Oblast Governor. 

Kharkiv Oblast comes under massive Russian artillery shelling and airstrikes often, even more so since Russia launched a new ground offensive north and northeast of the region in the Vovchansk and Lyptsi directions in May.

Syniehubov said that, over the past day, 6,500 hectares of forest in the region caught fire due to Russian shelling.

The State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine estimates that the Russian military invasion has damaged almost 30% of Ukraine’s forests. 

An analysis of satellite images by journalists shows that over the two years of full-scale war, Russians have destroyed more than 60,000 hectares of forests in the occupied territories.

The minimum estimate of the value of the lost forest exceeds $359 million. This is only direct damage from the loss of timber, not including other consequences of the hostilities, which can cost much more to eliminate.

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