The report analyzes damages caused to the region ecology as a result of military operations, and provides recommendations on the improvement of the environmental situation. Researchers emphasized the international legal obligations of the states in environment protection and prosecution of violators for harming the environment during wars and armed conflicts. 

“We monitored and analyzed all open sources, reports from the ATO area, social networks, reports related to this issue. There is no absolute statistics about the number of those responsible for violations. Only single cases are registered. Therefore, we do not exactly know the situation in the conflict zone”, UHHRU analyst Anna Blaga said.

The protected areas were badly affected by fighting. Many plant and animal species typical for this area are on the brink of survival: alien flora and fauna eradicate them. The mines are flooded, power lines are destroyed. The document describes the negative impact of these problems on the ecosystem of the region and Ukraine as a whole.

“Militants do not comply with the requirements on the reserve territories. They refuse to demine the eco-zones and pretend that there are no land mines at all. Still 20-30% mines have not been cleared, and plants listed in Red book grow there”, Senior Researcher of the Natural Museum of the Natural History Igor Zagoriuk said.

The researchers collected information about the state of the reserves during their own monitoring visit to the ATO zone.

According to UHHRU experts, evidence database and claiming compensation could counter crimes of the Russian Federation in Donbas. Ukraine needs finalizing the strategic documents and programs for human rights and environment protection.