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Deputy defense minister: Russia conducting mass deforestation in occupied territories
Russia is actively destroying the natural resource potential of occupied territories in Ukraine, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar stated on her Telegram channel on April 5.
Russian enterprises are harvesting forests on a large scale in Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and other oblasts, Maliar reported.
“[Russian] entrepreneurs carry out uncontrolled barbaric felling of forest plantations, which, if continued, will inevitably lead to catastrophic consequences for the environment,” she said.
The forests in question had been artificially planted to protect against wind, soil, and water erosion.
In addition, Russia has prohibited the local population from agricultural work, which may disrupt this year’s sowing of crops and eventually lead to neglect of agricultural soil.
Russia’s invasion has caused serious damage to Ukraine’s farmlands, forests, and national parks, and marine habitats.
Damage to industrial facilities have led to increased air, water, and soil pollution. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov estimated the total cost of the environmental damage as a result of Russia's war to be $35.3 billion.