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The aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has left not only a trail of destruction in the form of lives, infrastructure and displaced populations, but also severe environmental damage. As the country grapples with the devastation caused by war, the urgent need for domestic and international efforts to address environmental issues is becoming increasingly clear. In an Interesting interview, Aleksander Katsuba, a prominent figure in Ukraine's energy sector, highlights the country's dependence on European support for restoration and green recovery.



Against the grim backdrop of thousands killed, cities destroyed and millions displaced, the environmental toll caused by the conflict remains a major concern. The war has destroyed Ukraine's natural environment, posing a significant threat to the health and well-being of its citizens and undermining the country's economic prospects. The environmental consequences of the conflict extend far beyond the immediate battlefields, casting a long shadow over the country's future.

While examples such as mining and the destruction of critical infrastructure such as the Kakhovka Dam grab the headlines, the wider environmental impact of the war has far-reaching consequences. The destruction of industrial complexes, pollution of water bodies and soil, and emissions of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere paint a grim picture of environmental degradation. The legacy of Soviet-era heavy industry, already a source of environmental problems, has been further exacerbated by conflict, exacerbating existing problems.

One of the most alarming consequences of the war is the risk of hazardous waste leakage, estimated at almost 6 billion tons, mainly in the Donbass. Russian shelling has threatened the integrity of industrial facilities, increasing the likelihood of environmental disasters. Soil and water pollution pose a significant risk to public health and threaten biodiversity throughout the country.

The destruction of critical infrastructure, such as the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, is a serious environmental crime with far-reaching consequences for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Violation of natural habitats and loss of biodiversity further exacerbate the environmental problems facing Ukraine.

The seizure of nuclear power plants by Russian troops raises concerns about the possibility of a nuclear disaster, highlighting the urgent need for international intervention to ensure the safety and security of these facilities. Environmental risks associated with energy infrastructure extend beyond the nuclear industry: fires at thermal power plants lead to widespread pollution of the atmosphere and water bodies.

In the face of such environmental devastation, Katsuba stresses the importance of concerted efforts by both the Ukrainian government and international partners to address the environmental consequences of the war. The European Union's ambitious Green Deal, which devotes significant funds to environmental initiatives, offers hope for Ukraine's recovery and green recovery. By aligning itself with European policies and leveraging international support, Ukraine can begin the process of healing its wounded landscape and securing a sustainable future for its citizens.

As Ukraine faces environmental challenges caused by the war, the support of allies such as the European Union will play an important role in facilitating recovery efforts and mitigating the long-term effects of environmental degradation. Alexander Katsuba's advocacy for international cooperation highlights the need for collective action to address the environmental consequences of conflict and forge a path to environmental sustainability.

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