Russia destroys over 60,000 hectares of Ukrainian forests, causing damage up to $360 million
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Russia destroys over 60,000 hectares of Ukrainian forests, causing damage up to $360 million


Since the beginning of the full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia has completely destroyed more than 60 thousand hectares of forests worth at least UAH 14 billion ( appr. $360 million) in the territories occupied by them.

Russia is committing ecocide in Ukraine

Using satellite images, was able to establish that during the two years of the war, the Russians completely destroyed more than 60,000 hectares of forests in the territories they occupied.

According to the minimum estimate, the total value of the lost forest exceeds UAH 14 billion — this is only direct damage, that is, the value of the wood that could be obtained from these more than 60,000 hectares. These losses do not take into account environmental consequences, the elimination of which can be much more expensive, the investigation says.

Satellite images of the territory of the forests of SE Severodonetsk Forestry and SE Novoaidarske LMG (photo –ngl. media)

It is noted that among the natural areas most affected in the Donetsk region is the "Sviatohirskyi" National Nature Park, located in the Kramatorsk and Bakhmut districts. Since the beginning of the invasion, fighting has been going on in this area, and 80% of the park has been destroyed.

In addition, the Russians are engaged in active logging in the Luhansk region, where before the war only 11% of the territory was occupied by forests. In the predominantly steppe Luhansk region, forests have a very important function - they save from sandstorms, retain moisture and stop soil erosion.

Also, today, about 40-45% of forest territories in the Kharkiv region are mined or damaged by fires.

In 2022, during the occupation of Kherson region, which is one of the least (5%) forested regions of Ukraine, a large part of the forests suffered from fires, shelling and felling.

The forests of the Kherson Region were also seriously damaged by the Kakhovskaya HPP's explosion in June 2023. At that time, almost 55 thousand hectares of forest on the left bank of the Dnieper were flooded.

Damaged forests of Kherson Oblast as a result of the blowing up the Kakhovska Dam by Russians (photo –

The Russians are creating ecocide in the occupied territories of Ukraine

In August 2023, Luhansk RMA reported that the cities of the Luhansk region, occupied in 2022, were drowning in garbage. The garbage from neighbourhoods has not been taken out for months. Settlements turn into landfills.

In addition, the Russians destroyed at least a third of the forest fund of the Luhansk region, as well as nature conservation areas.

According to Lysohor, the Luhansk region had a huge potential for the nature reserve fund—in total, the area of green areas amounted to more than 95 thousand hectares.

It is very difficult to assess the damage caused to the environment today. However, thanks to the remote sensing of land plots using satellite technologies and the use of other modern methods, the regional eco-inspection managed to establish data on the destruction of more than 26 thousand hectares of the forest fund of the region.

According to Lysohor, only the material damage caused by the fires, according to preliminary estimates, amounts to more than UAH 180 billion.

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