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Experts of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise investigate the facts of ecocide committed by the russian army in Ukraine

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has serious environmental consequences, which can be classified as ecocide under Article 441 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The term “ecocide”, according to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, means mass destruction of flora and fauna, poisoning of the atmosphere and water resources, as well as other actions that may lead to an environmental catastrophe.

Among the actions committed by the russian military is the occupation of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plants, the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the burning of forests, the destruction of nature reserves and the reduction of biodiversity, pollution of soils and water sources, as well as shelling of fields and crops, which leads to the impossibility of further agriculture. These facts indicate that Russia has committed ecocide in Ukraine.

Experts of the Laboratory of Environmental Research of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise note that russia’s military actions in Ukraine pose a serious threat to an environmental catastrophe. One of the striking examples is the destruction of forests due to logging, massive shelling and fires. These factors seriously threaten ecosystems, reduce forest cover and air self-purification, and lead to the loss of natural resources and destruction of habitat for many species of plants and animals.

However, the forest fires themselves caused by the occupiers in Ukraine are much more dangerous than simple deforestation. As a result of the release of pollutants and hazardous gases into the air, acid rain is formed, large forests dry up, crop fertility is damaged and yields are reduced. People inhale soot, nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide generated after fires. This is dangerous not only for Ukrainians but also for the whole of Europe, as pollutants can spread thousands of kilometres due to rain and atmospheric masses.

Experts of the Laboratory of Environmental Research of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise, who conduct forensic environmental examinations, emphasize that the risk of the spread of fires in conditions of active hostilities is significant and is a difficult task for their elimination. An example was the temporary occupation of the Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve, when the russian army positioned its positions and built trenches in the “Red Forest”, not realizing the risks that these actions pose to them and to the world as a whole. Similar negative consequences are observed in other regions of our country.

Investigations of environmental crimes of the russian federation on the territory of Ukraine and sentencing by national courts against the russian federation are of great importance, as it facilitates the proof of the facts of environmental damage caused to our country in international courts.

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