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Minister: Over 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide released into air due to Russia's recent attacks against Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 9, 2024 9:12 AM 1 min read
Drone view of a damaged building in the center of Kyiv as Emergency services provide assistance to the victims and put out the fire on Jan. 2, 2024, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
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Over 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the air as a result of Russia's mass missile attacks against Ukraine on Dec. 29 and Jan. 2, according to Environmental Protection Minister Ruslan Strilets.

Russia launched almost 300 missiles and drones at Ukraine on the two said days, killing and injuring dozens of civilians, with the Dec. 29 strike being the largest air attack against the country since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The air pollution from the attacks caused $400,000 of damages to Ukraine, Strilets said at a Jan. 8 meeting of the International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War.

"In this terrible, unprovoked, and very brutal war, our people, civilians and military, continue to die, and the environment suffers. All of these attacks cause massive damage," said Andriy Yermak, Presidential Office head and the group's co-chair.

"For example, after the last attack, the air quality in Kyiv significantly worsened due to the high concentration of combustion products, chemicals, and dust."

The total environmental damage caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine amounts to more than 55.6 billion euros ($58.9 billion), according to the latest figures released by Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine aims to be "one of the first countries in the world" to hold the aggressor accountable for the damage caused to the environment, Yermak added at the Jan. 8 meeting.

"This year will be difficult. But this year can be changeable and radical. We have a lot of work to do, and the environmental aspect remains one of our main priorities."

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