The impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the state of the country’s soil: Analysis results

Authors: Anastasiia Splodytel, Oleksandr Holubtsov, Serhii Chumachenko, and Liudmyla Sorokina
Published: 2023
Source: Ecoaction

Since 2014, Russia’s war against Ukraine has dramatically disrupted the soil environment and caused large-scale and long-term environmental degradation. This drastic change of landscape requires an immediate and comprehensive study, followed by the development of policies for the management of lands contaminated by war. Failure to act on the identified problem risks causing accelerated soil erosion, adversely affecting production, spreading toxic and contaminated agricultural or other products, and harming human health.

Using mainly geographic information systems (GIS), the key research sites for the study were the Vilkhivka community of the Kharkiv region and the Sartana community of the Donetsk region. The study also employed laboratory analyses of the physico-chemical condition of soil in the studied areas and examined the results of analyses for the Chernobyl Biosphere Reserve and the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO)/ Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone in the period before the full-scale invasion.

The recommendations made by the study highlight the decision to develop a policy for the post-war restoration of Ukraine’s land and bring its ecological condition to a level that is safe for the environment and human health.

Download the report here.

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