Minister Strilets speaks about the damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine at the United Nations Water Conference | ukraine news

At the 2023 UN Water Conference, Ukraine’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strilets spoke about the environmental damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian delegation headed by Ukrainian Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strilets participated in the United Nations Water Conference 2023, held in New York from March 22-24 2023, reports a correspondent of Ukrinform.

In a comment to Ukriform, Strilets noted that, speaking at UN events, he tried to make the general public understand that the damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine affects the whole world, because the he environment has no borders.

Strilets mentioned that in October 2022, Russia destroyed and opened a number of sluices at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper. As a result, Ukraine loses thousands of cubic meters of fresh water every day, which can have catastrophic consequences.

The Kakhovka Reservoir provides water for field irrigation. As a result, Ukraine will not be able to harvest the proper crop, Strilets added, after explaining that “those are the areas that are important for global food security.”

In general, 88% of Ukraine’s irrigated areas are now under Russian occupation.

According to Strilets, the amount of damage caused to Ukraine’s water resources by Russian armed aggression exceeded $2.5 billion.

The hostilities are the cause of the pollution of surface and underground waters. Excess concentrations of mercury, copper, zinc and manganese have been detected in rivers such as the Dniester, Dnieper and Siverskyi Donets.

“Heavy metals, petroleum products, toxic and dangerous compounds contaminate the water due to explosions, missile strikes, accidents and fires at oil depots,” Strilets said.

Marine mammals are injured by underwater explosions in the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea.

“We have documented approximately 120 dolphin deaths, where we have shore access and can monitor. But we know there may be thousands,” said Strilets.

Satellite imagery shows significant oil pollution in the maritime area. In some places, the oil slicks extend for hundreds of kilometres.

Strilets pointed out that the Ukrainian side is taking steps to document Russian crimes in order to collect reparations from the aggressor state.

According to Strilets, Russia is trying to destroy aspirations for sustainable development not only for Ukraine but for the whole world.

Nevertheless, Ukraine continues to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Strilets added. In cooperation with European partners, Ukraine implements sustainable management of water resources, even in the midst of war.

Russian armed aggression only delayed but did not stop Ukraine’s efforts towards sustainable development and the implementation of relevant global goals, Strilets stressed.

Photo: Volodymyr Ilchenko

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