12:17 02 Aug 2022

Over 100,000 ha of land burned during five months of war—protected areas account for third

Approximately this area is the same as major towns and cities, like Kyiv, Brovary, Boryspil, and Irpin, within their administrative borders.

Specialists of the Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group non-governmental organization have calculated the areas where fires have occurred in Ukraine since the first day of the full-scale war. They analyzed the data recorded by NASA satellites on natural and agricultural areas in the zone where a full-scale attack by the invaders took place or is taking place and in the range of the most massive artillery, including the territories that have already been liberated.

Ecologists established that the area of ​​the territory of Ukraine covered by fire was 100,662.2339 hectares (1006.62 km2), and every third hectare of Ukraine destroyed by fire is a protected area. It isn't easy to imagine how much it is. Kyiv, Brovary, Boryspil, and Irpin together occupy approximately this area within their administrative boundaries.

"These are not complete figures because foresters only voice what they have confirmed with their walking tours, that is, far from everything," the head of the organization Oleksii Vasyliuk comments.

These territories are equally represented by natural ecosystems, fields, and settlements. The fire destroyed 36,154 hectares of forests and 10,250 hectares of grassy ecosystems.

"The territory where the russian offensive took place and the adjacent territories that were or are in the artillery access zone and were shelled by the invaders were particularly affected. The vast majority of munitions used in this (from cruise missiles to mortars) under certain circumstances lead to fires in natural and agricultural areas. What can we say about special incendiary munitions used repeatedly by russian troops and about direct hits on oil product storage facilities?" the organization's specialists comment on the conclusions.

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