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Russian invaders have destroyed almost 80% of largest national park in Donetsk Oblast

Thursday, 19 January 2023, 13:37

More than 5,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed in the Sviati Hory ("Holy Mountains") National Nature Park, located in Donetsk Oblast, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by Russia.

Source: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

Details: Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, reported that most of the park came under the area of hostilities following the full-scale Russian invasion in March 2022. Its work had been suspended, due to the risk to human lives.

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Quote: "Instead of forests, there’s black burnt earth here and there. The park's infrastructure suffered great damage, and vehicles, computer and other equipment have been either stolen or destroyed," noted Ruslan Strilets.

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 Photo by Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

According to the Ministry of Ecology, 70% of pine plantations, i.e. about 5,000 hectares of forests, have been destroyed. The estimated cost of damage to the park's property is estimated to be about UAH 5.5 million [roughly US$135,000 – ed.].

Ruslan Strilets emphasised that the priority of the Ministry of Environment is to record every crime of the occupiers against nature and collect data on environmental destruction in the war.

 Photo by Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

Background: Sixty hectares of forests have been burned in 10 months due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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