The most significant environmental damage is in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

These figures are not definitive, as experts from the State Environmental Inspectorate do not have access to the occupied territories, so they cannot record and assess all environmental damage.

“Destroyed nature reserves, contaminated water, mined fields, burned forests and a huge amount of other damage – all this will have to be restored after the victory. In the 500 days since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine has already recorded about 2,500 cases of environmental damage worth more than UAH 2 trillion,” the Ministry of Environment commented.

The regions that have suffered the most:

  • Donetsk region – over $17.83 billion;
  • Luhansk region – $12.77 billion;
  • Kharkiv region – over $9.66 billion in losses.

By the 500th day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology and the State Ecological Inspectorate of Ukraine and the Top Lead are preparing infographics and research to give a complete picture of what the Russian occupiers are doing to Ukraine’s environment.

As of the end of April 2023, the damage to the Kharkiv region’s ecosystem amounted to almost $9.37 billion. At that time, it was about soil contamination, forest fires that covered at least 624 hectares of plantations, air pollution, and a drop in water levels in reservoirs.

The Kharkiv Oblast State Environmental Inspectorate recorded more than 680 crimes against the environment. They plan to study the state of protected areas and the possibility of implementing pre-war projects, develop new plans, and look for ways of restoration. One of the critical issues is the increase in revenues from environmental taxes and other payments to budgets at all levels.

See also

70-year-old woman blown up by mine at Pisky Forestry in Kharkiv Oblast. The explosion resulted in a mine-blast injury associated with amputation of the right foot and shrapnel wounds.