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  • Kelly Song

Ukraine's Environmental Developments

The recent breaking news of Russia invading Ukraine has been a truly devastating matter. With all the negative impacts being caused, the environment in Ukraine has taken a devastating plummet.


Ukraine's air quality has been greatly affected. In brief, their air quality wasn’t the best to begin with and has just gotten worse with the war and invasion. The main cause for this are Russia’s radioactive waste repositories, which “have the potential to leave not only immediate destruction, but a longer tail of polluted air [...]”, states Gregory Barber & Matt Simon, environmental writers at WIRED. Of course, polluted air definitely isn’t top priority with everything else taking place, but because of their already not-so-good air quality, more bombing and destruction could lead to a lot of toxic substances in the air. This is caused when large industrial buildings or sites are targeted; the heavy emissions or burning will lead to negative effects in the near future.



Missiles, shelling, and tank rounds are also a huge cause to the quality of their air degrading. With these explosives in sight, different materials and man-made resources are flying in the air. Things “from heavy metals in industrial sites to the concrete, cables, and piping in roads, to asbestos from buildings.” (Barber and Simon, WIRED). The thing that’s so scary with it is 1) Air pollution can shorten life expectancy as it increases the risk of developing various illnesses and diseases, and 2) the air quality won’t just be affected around places that are bombed. These bombings are so powerful that their effects will spread well beyond their original localisation.



Aside from air pollution, water contamination is also a problem. The toxic chemicals floating around in Ukraine’s natural water streams have started affecting their water quality. Again, the bombing and explosives are posing as a huge threat for local water supply and various water systems. This war is going to leave a huge imprint for soil and groundwater, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.


Now, the question is, what can we do to help? Because we’re in Canada and don’t have direct contact with them, our help won’t leave a huge impact. However, there’s still a couple things we can do as a community!


  • Donate to charities/events that support the matter

  • Educate yourself about what’s happening

  • Don’t spread false information

  • Offer support where you can & when necessary!


It’s been hard to hear the news, but for now, it’s important we all try to offer support where we can, even if that means to simply read a short article about the news!


Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/business/economy/russia-ukraine-energy-security-climate-change.html

https://www.wired.com/story/ukraine-is-in-an-environmental-crisis-too/


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