The Ministry for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as the “MVTOT”) discussed the issues of formation of common principles for monitoring the environmental situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
Representatives of The Ministry of Energy and Environment Protection of Ukraine, the State Space Agency of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk Regional State Administrations made reports on monitoring and assessment of the status of potentially dangerous facilities located in the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts during the meeting of the subgroup on Ecology and Safety*.
In addition, the Head of the information and analytical department of the National Space Facilities Control And Test Centre Ihor Brukhno presented the results of monitoring the territories and various facilities in the temporarily occupied territories in relation to illegal extraction of mineral resources by the occupation authorities, large-scale deforestation, archaeological excavations, construction of strategic facilities and the work of large enterprises (including the use of sand from tailings with toxic waste) on the impact of such activities and the environmental and seismic situation, the deployment of military facilities and equipment, the state of agricultural land, water reservoirs and depletion of bulk waters, drying process of the external coating, and the like.
Ihor Brukhno drew attention to the possibility and necessity of using monitoring results in international judicial institutions against the occupying state. In his report, he drew special attention to the need to increase such monitoring capabilities to the number of studied sites and facilities, as well as to upgrade technical capabilities.
The meeting moderator, Head of the Department for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol Serhii Mokreniuk, emphasized the importance of recording all the facts stated and also expanding such activity to provide arguments in international courts for compensation by the Russian Federation for damage due to occupation of the Ukrainian territory.
Serhii Mokreniuk drew attention of the participants to the meeting to the necessity of creating a system of generalization of facts and cases of harm caused to the environmental components:
“The results of the monitoring of different institutions after their generalization by the MVTOT specialists are further used to formulate a balanced state policy regarding the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and create an opportunity to protect the interests of the state in the international arena. Systematic public awareness of the ecological state of the temporarily occupied territories creates the necessary narrative about the impact of the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine on the entire Ukrainian society and the country's economy. The armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine bears irreparable damage to the ecology, economy, historical and cultural heritage of Ukraine and its citizens”
All participants noted the importance of the coordinating function of the MVTOT in generalization of the facts and cases of industrial and environmental hazards in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
A representative of The OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine was also invited to participate in the meeting.
* Recall that the Interdepartmental Working Group on Resolving the problematic issues of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, including the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons carries out its activities in the framework of the meeting of the subgroup on Ecology and Safety issues, formed in pursuance of the Order of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksii Honcharuk in November.