Russian aggression in Ukraine causes over USD 58 billion in environmental damage
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, almost 3,600 Russian crimes against the environment have been recorded. Russia has inflicted UAH 2.2 trillion in damages on Ukraine
Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated this.
According to him, the constant shelling has generated more than 750,000 tons of demolition waste, which has contaminated 30 million hectares of Ukraine's territory.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of Ukrainian land are potentially contaminated with mines and shells.
"Last year, we returned more than 200,000 hectares of agricultural land to operation. For comparison, this is more than two areas of our capital Kyiv. And this year we have an ambition to survey and, if necessary, clear more than 512,000 hectares. But the mine threat will exist for many years to come," the Prime Minister said.
He emphasized that Russia must be held accountable for these crimes. Therefore, it is necessary to create an International Environmental Platform to assess the damage.
According to Shmyhal, Ukraine has also made significant progress in the dialogue with partners on compensation from confiscated Russian assets.
"We expect effective decisions from the European Union, the United States and other countries that will allow us to direct Russian resources to help Ukraine. This will be an important precedent on a global scale. Any aggressor will know that sooner or later they will pay for the damage they have done," the Prime Minister summarized.
What is known about demining in Ukraine
In March 2023, the UNDP said that the area of mined territory in Ukraine was 4.5 times the size of Switzerland.
In August, the Ministry of Economy said that it hoped to clear 80% of the land and return it to use in 10 years.
In the same month, Ukraine's first domestically produced demining machine received a certificate of conformity. This development allows for the effective disposal of anti-personnel and detection of anti-tank mines.
On September 22, it became known that Ukraine would launch a market for humanitarian demining services through Prozorro.
As of October 31, almost 178,000 hectares of agricultural land were returned to use in Ukraine after sappers' survey and demining. At the same time, it was planned to return up to 165,000 hectares to farmers this year.
On November 6, Ukraine received 6 DIGITAL VANGUARD-S robotic systems from Canada to help rescuers remotely defuse explosive ordnance. Later in the month, Azerbaijan handed over a demining vehicle to Ukraine, which was sent to the Poltava region.
The Swiss company Global Clearance Solutions (GCS) plans to deliver 60 remote-controlled demining machines to Ukraine by mid-2024.
In January, sappers inspected more than 21,000 hectares of agricultural land for explosives, most of it in the Kherson region.