13:38 21 Sep 2023

The term "ecocide" should be defined as new crime in international law – Ukraine's environment minister

“Рудий ліс” після перебування окупантів. Фото надане ДАЗВ

Ukraine's Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets believes the term "ecocide", is especially relevant during Russia's war crimes in his interview with Sky News channel.

Ukrainian teams continue to collect cases of environmental damage to bring Russia to justice. Experts are developing a mechanism to accurately calculate and record them as criminal offenses in order to send them to the Hague.

Strilets also recalled the atrocities of the Russians, such as the destruction of 80% of the Holy Mountains National Park, the mining of at least 30% of Ukraine's territory, cutting access to the drinking water after blowing up the Kakhovka dam and causing damage worth $57 billion.

The head of the ministry also recently noted the environmental component could become part of the reparations that Russia will have to pay for its war crimes for the first time in history.

The number of eco-crimes has already been calculated, including 2,500 such cases. The total amount of environmental damage has already exceeded 2 trillion hryvnias.

The Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve in the southern Kherson region has been under occupation since the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since October last year, Russian military equipment and armed formations personnel have been deployed on the territory of the reserve. All of this has created and continues to create a huge stress factor for the animals, making it impossible for the nature conservation institution to operate normally.

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