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More than 9,000 acres of forest engulfed in flames in Kharkiv Oblast, State Emergency Service says

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 1, 2024 3:14 PM 1 min read
A forest fire in Kharkiv Oblast on June 1, 2024. (State Emergency Service/Telegram)
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Massive forest fires have engulfed more than 3,700 hectares (9,140 acres) of forest in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine's State Emergency Service said on June 1.

There were at least nine separate fires, most of which were started by Russian strikes, the State Emergency Service said. Six of the fires, encompassing around 2,300 hectares (5,680 acres) were contained.

The work of firefighters has been complicated by ongoing Russian attacks in the area and the presence of mines and other unexploded ordinance, the State Emergency Service said.

An investigation by NGL Media in April found that more than 60,000 hectares (148,000 acres) of forests have been destroyed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale war on Ukraine, amounting to at least Hr 14 billion ($360 million) in damages.

Ukraine's State Forest Resources Agency estimated in March that almost 30% of the country's forests have have suffered some kind of damage due to hostilities.

Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets told Deutsche Welle in January that the environmental costs of Russia's war have already exceeded Hr 2.2 trillion ($56.6 billion). Kyiv has recorded 3,600 Russian crimes against the environment, he added.

Opinion: Green recovery in Ukraine is a strategic imperative for the EU
Two years of brutal, full-scale invasion by Russia has inflicted severe environmental damage on Ukraine, impacting the country’s rich biodiversity, contaminating land and water resources, and posing a direct threat to public health and safety. Addressing these challenges is crucial for the environme…

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6:52 PM

Ukraine's GDP grew by more than 4% in 6 months.

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