Photographers document environmental degradation in Kherson during war

Photographers showed mountains of garbage in Kherson Oblast
Photographers showed mountains of garbage in Kherson Oblast

Footage of chaotic junkyards in Kherson Oblast, where utility workers cannot reach due to possibility of enemy attack shown by Ukrainian photographers Konstantin and Vlada Liberov on Instagram on April 29.

Discussing the issue, the photographers pointed out the severe impact of the war on the environment. "Keeping in mind everything else, it might not seem important," they wrote. "But 16 days among the picturesque nature of the Ukrainian steppe suddenly highlighted another problem that is directly related to the war. In addition to endless destruction, pain, and death, war is garbage. Huge mountains, tons of garbage."

The risk of artillery strikes has made it nearly impossible for utility services to manage waste in frontline villages. The military, when feasible, undertakes garbage removal efforts, and soldiers of the 126th Brigade have even initiated sorting efforts within their units, as directed by brigade command.

However, the photographers noted that local practices of burning waste only worsen the environmental situation. They also expressed skepticism about the potential reaction from the international environmental community, given the tepid response to previous ecological disasters in Ukraine caused by the conflict, such as the explosion at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and the mining of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Read also: Liberov photographers share heart-wrenching photos from Kyiv after Russian attack

"These chaotic landfills sometimes stretch for hundreds of meters here," they observed, amidst the otherwise picturesque steppes and along the rivers of southern Ukraine. "So, perhaps, it should not be surprising that world-famous environmental activists, who reacted rather coolly to ecocide after the explosion of Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, and to mining of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and to many other destructive factors for the environment caused by Russians, will react to this at least somehow."

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine