The impacts of the war on the preservation areas in Ukraine

What is the impact on wildlife caused by the war between Ukraine and Russia?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
The impacts of the war on the preservation areas in Ukraine
© Paula Bronstein / Stringer Getty Images News

It's not just climate change that destroys and threatens ecosystems, biomes and wildlife. Anthropic effects do not only concern the modification of the environment, or rather, there are some aspects that have nothing to do with technological progress. It's about war. And what is the impact of the war between Ukraine and Russia on the prevention of areas in Ukraine?

The study The environment as the first victim: The impacts of the war on the preservation areas in Ukraine, published in the Journal of environmental management, shared an interesting retrospective on the topic.

The researchers explain: "The war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the environment. Military actions have caused the release of hazardous substances into the environment, such as pollutants and toxic chemicals, that have contaminated the water, soil, and air, posing a threat to both human health and the environment. This has resulted in widespread destruction and contamination of natural habitats and resources and has disrupted wildlife populations and ecosystems.

Ukrainian war
Ukrainian war© Spencer Platt / Staff Getty Images News

The impacts of military activity on the soils of protected areas are particularly critical, as they are the basis of biotic and landscape diversity and require special management and scientifically based monitoring measures even in peaceful conditions In this context, this communication paper aims to provide an overview of the impacts of the war on the soils in four Ukrainian protected areas, namely Chornobyl Radiation.

And Ecological Biosphere Reserve; Desniansko-Starohutskyi National Nature Park; To address these aspects, this paper combined GIS analysis and secondary data including soil samples obtained during field expeditions, to provide evidence of how ground battles, occupation, terrestrial land mines, and explosions can severely impact the soils. Practical and theoretical implications of the military actions are also discussed."

The Russian armed intervention directed in Ukraine has its roots in a long diplomatic and military conflict between the two countries. According to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Russia's geographical situation, with no natural borders except the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean, allowed it to develop, for many centuries, a foreign policy based on the expansion of the state in every direction. Over the years, this fueled the desire to regain the sphere of influence lost with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and to secure strategic positions such as Crimea, which overlooks the Black Sea.