The European Union stands ready to assist Ukraine in investigating Russia's environmental crimes since their magnitude is enormous, yet the legal context of these crimes is not well defined.
Source: DW, citing Nils Behrndt, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice
Details: The official noted that "the scale of the suspected environmental crimes committed in Ukraine is enormous".
"We cannot recall anything like this in the past. However, the legal context of these crimes is unclear," he acknowledged.
However, Behrndt noted that the European Commission and the EU member states' relevant authorities stand ready to assist Ukraine in investigating Russia's suspected environmental crimes.
To this end, Nils Behrndt also stressed that there have been cases in modern history when countries have received compensation for environmental damage suffered during military conflicts.
DW reported that Kyiv estimates the damage to Ukraine's environment caused by the war to be €56.7 billion. The country ranks among the first worldwide by the area of mine-affected territories, accounting for 30% of its territory.
Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine's Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, labelled the blowing up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam in June this year, likely committed by the Russian military, the biggest crime of Russian ecocide in Ukraine.
The minister says it will take at least 20 years to revive the forests and national parks where hostilities are raging.
In addition, Strilets reported that the hostilities have led to "additional emissions of 150 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere".
The Ukrainian authorities not only record the damage that the Russian army, as they estimate, inflicts on the country's natural resources daily but also document the specific actions that are causing it. Kyiv has officially recorded 2,900 such crimes since the beginning of the full-scale war.