UKRAINE, KHARKIV OBLAST, May 29 — The Russian shelling caused 18 forest fires in the Lyman and Kupiansk forests of the Kharkiv region. Currently, firefighters put out ten fires, announced Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, spokesperson for the State Emergency Service (SES) of Ukraine, during a briefing.

“We [SES] documented 18 forest fires on a total area of more than 2,500 hectares. Firefighters have already localized ten fires [160 hectares]. About 200 rescuers are involved, using 43 equipment units,” Khorunzhyi said.

Today, the Russian attack on the Vovchansk community in the Chuhuiv district of the Kharkiv region caused a fire in the private sector and forest. The SES reports that the shelling of frontline settlements in the community caused a fire that spread throughout the area of more than 15 hectares. 

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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  • On May 7, three forest fires broke out in the Kupiansk district due to the Russian shelling. All of them occurred in Kurylivka community’s forestries, reported the State Emergency Service in the Kharkiv Oblast.