Environmentalists assess threats of Russian-Ukrainian war to nature of Belarus
Russian Iskander missile system / novoeizdanie.com
The forecast is not great
The Russian-Ukrainian war poses a threat, including to the nature of Belarus, said environmentalists from UWEC (Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Working Group). It was created a month ago. It includes experts from five countries of the world.
In an interview with "Novaya Gazeta", environmental journalist Aliaksei Auchynnikau said that Belarus is exposed to ecological disasters. He notes that it is difficult to assess the consequences of the war because almost all environmental organizations in Belarus have been liquidated and activists have either been arrested or driven into exile.
The state, according to Auchynnikau, hides information. "For example, the entire south of Belarus today is practically closed to visitors, and access to forests is forbidden for civilians. That is why we can only guess what is going on there".
At the same time, he names obvious environmental threats to Belarus: "Among the things that have a direct impact are a high probability of rocket fuel getting into the groundwater, a significant blow to the ecosystems of the south of Belarus caused by active military maneuvers in this region. Also, we should not forget that in the south of Belarus there is the Palessie Radiation Reserve, access to which was limited before. What is happening there today is a mystery".
Russian troops are known to have launched missiles at Ukraine from the territory of Belarus.
Auchynnikau stresses that the anthropogenic load on the south of Belarus will obviously increase. This will have a negative impact on the unique protected areas of Palessie.
Meanwhile, in the south of Belarus there is a change of climatic belts, changes in ecosystems and biocenoses, as well as active desertification processes. In addition, abnormal weather phenomena, such as temperature maximums, are more often recorded in the south. According to Ovchinnikov, these territories should not be used as a military range and a springboard for invading the territory of a neighboring state.