Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 13.08.2018
Russia at war violates every code of civilized behaviour. Invaders from Muscovy attacked Ukraine in 2014, and today the foreigners occupy Ukrainian Crimea and a part of Ukrainian Donbas. Through callous indifference and malicious vandalism, the Russians are destroying the natural environment of beautiful Ukraine in every area they touch.
The Kalmius River in Donetsk region is one of the lines of defence of the Ukrainian armed forces as they fight the invaders of Europe from Muscovy. To the north-east of Mariupol, the line of the Kalmius River from Hranitne to Chermalyk is the ‘contact line’ because that is the farthest the Russian invaders advanced in 2014-15. The Kalmius River in Donetsk region anchors the south-west end of the battlefront just as the Siverskyi Donets River in Luhansk region anchors the north-east end of the battlefront.
On August 8, the site 62.ua presented annotated photographs of a mass die-off of fish and ducks in the Kalmius River. The Kalmius River has been known to be contaminated as a result of heavy industrialization in Donetsk region, but so many dead fish and ducks all at once is unprecedented. Local people can only speculate about the immediate cause, but one resident recalls that last year there was an outbreak of leptospirosis. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the leptospirosis has been associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. “The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months,” writes the CDC.
The mass deaths of fish and ducks suggests at sudden and catastrophic event. Locals commenting on the 62.ua story suggest that the deaths were caused by someone dumping poisonous substances into the Kalmius River. The Russian occupation regime has been negligent stewards of the natural environment. Russia has allowed many coal mines to flood in occupied Ukraine, including one at Yenakiive that was used for an atom bomb test in the 1970s and whose flooding risks nuclear contamination.
The northern two-thirds of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula is turning into a desert bacause of the intransigence of the invader-occupiers from Muscovy. Ukraine had been supplying Crimea with most of its water, taken from the Dnipro River and brought to Crimea via the North Crimean Canal. The Putin regime is incapable of bringing water to Crimea and refuses to negotiate with Ukraine in good faith. The North Crimean Canal has run dry, and 11 administrative districts in northern Crimea are in a severe drought.
Lake Tobechyk near Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied) has all but dried up. Wildfires near Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied) were reported on August 13 to have grown to an area of 80 hectares, and even to have encroached on the city. Occupation authorities closed the road from Yalta to Bakhchisaray, the de facto capital of the Crimean Tatars.
On August 12, Ukrainian border guards on the administrative line of control between Crimea and Kherson reported that there was an electricity black-out across from all three crossings into temporarily occupied Crimea. Just as with water, electricity normally comes to Crimea from other parts of Ukraine – but the invaders from Muscovy cut that off as well.
Crimea is naturally a part of Ukraine, which is why the natural environment is being violated by the imposition of an unnatural and impossible connection of Crimea to the Russian Federation.
This is another disastrous consequence of Europe failing to stop Putin and declining to help Ukraine liberate Crimea and Donbas. The natural environment is being destroyed by Russian invaders of Ukraine.