A significant decrease in vegetation in the occupied Crimea can lead to an ecological catastrophe, according to the information on the website of the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons.

“Space survey data indicate a significant deterioration in the state of the unique flora of the Crimean peninsula. The negligent attitude of the Russian Federation's occupation authorities to the unique natural environment in the northern, central and eastern parts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea can lead to a mass extinction of flora and fauna, soil erosion, fires in ecosystems and ecological catastrophe on the peninsula," reads the report.

According to remote sensing data, the NDVI index (used to quantify the vegetation cover) on the annexed peninsula decreased to 0.3, which is the lowest indicator.

Compared to 2016, in June 2018, the index was down by 23%. Moreover, the state of vegetation in the occupied Crimea had a negative impact on the decrease in precipitation.

“The Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine emphasizes that neglect of these negative phenomena by the Russian occupation authorities can lead to the destruction of unique ecosystems of the Crimean peninsula - including the destruction of protected landscapes, erosion of soils, prevention of traditional agriculture.”

At the same time, the Ministry stated that such an attitude towards the vegetation of the peninsula on the part of the occupation authorities may indicate that the Russian Federation is not interested in the development of the Crimea.

“The occupying state is not interested in the development of the Crimea with its natural potential, and this irresponsibility leads to unavoidable harm to the environment and losses for the civilian population living on this territory.”

Earlier, the so-called Minister of Natural Resources of the occupied peninsula, Gennady Naraev, admitted that the forest is being cut down on the peninsula. Trees are destroyed due to the construction of federal highways and other infrastructure.