Russia’s attack on Ukraine sent a shockwave throughout the world, as heavy artillery continues to move throughout the country, and innocent lives are being lost due to the attacks. Throughout Ukraine many people are being displaced as their homes are being destroyed. Not only are their homes being destroyed, but also the landscapes around them, causing massive destruction to important ecosystems within the country. Almost every part of a weapon contains toxic chemicals, each time a bomb is dropped, or a bullet is fired toxic chemicals leach into the earth and the air.
As the Russian tanks roll in and their bombs are dropped there is an increase in the harming of forests and ecosystems as they trample and set fire to the landscape around them. Large amounts of Ukraine are industrialised, meaning as more and more of the country is destroyed so are oil refineries and chemical plants. These sites then release harmful and toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, not only adding to the world’s carbon footprint, but also causing air, water and soil pollution that will affect the country once the war is finally over. The country will have to find solutions for not only rebuilding their homes and businesses, but also finding solutions to make their water drinkable and unpolluting the soil for grazing animals and crops to grow.
The Russian army appears to be hitting hazardous and industrial sites purposefully, with attacks being carried out at nuclear reactor sites. If one of these sites was to be severely damaged the impact of a radioactive leak could lead to toxic air reaching parts of Europe. The air would become so toxic in parts of Ukraine it would become inhabitable.
Once the war is over, and we all hope that this will be soon. Ukraine will need as much help as it can get to rebuild its country. The people of Ukraine will need to rebuild their lives, but the government also needs to look towards rebuilding the environment. This will be a very expensive operation due to the extreme damage caused by the war and the Government’s first priority will be to make sure its population can live in homes and not rubble. Therefore, they will rely on humanitarian work to help rebuild the forests and natural landscapes it has lost. Currently there are teams using geolocation strategies to find areas that are the affected the worse, in order for plans to be put in place quickly and efficiently.
We forget that the environment is part of our world when a disaster occurs. However, nature is so important to us, we depend on it for clean air, food, water and for somewhere to live. When we come together to help Ukraine get through this horrific time, we must make sure we are considering all aspects of the damage caused to their country.