Toxins in Soil, Blasted Forests – Ukraine Counts Cost of Putin's 'Ecocide'


This headline is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) which works to support resilience and recovery in global communities affected by war and conflict.

(The Guardian) The woods outside Chernihiv were quiet in late August when Anatoliy Pavelko scrambled into a 10-metre bomb crater with a trowel and an icebox full of sample jars. He wanted to find out what the Russian FAB-250 bomb left behind when it carved this gaping hole into the ground in the spring.

Four months earlier, the environmental lawyer was dug in on a frontline just a few kilometres away, shells crashing around him in the bitter fight to keep Russian forces out of Kyiv.

Now he has taken temporary leave from his unit of volunteers and returned to Chernihiv for a more familiar battle on a different front in the war against Moscow.

Russia’s invasion has killed tens of thousands of Ukrainians and destroyed homes and entire cities. It is also devastating Ukraine’s environment, an “ecocide” that activists worry is going largely unrecorded amid the broader national tragedy.

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Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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