Desert instead of heaps. Ecological catastrophe in Donbass
The barbaric and thoughtless closure of the mines, which was started this year by representatives of the illegal armed groups “LPR-DPR”, led to the expected consequences, which were warned by environmentalists. An ecological catastrophe has started in Donbass. Due to the cessation of mine drains, rivers, ponds and reservoirs in the region are rapidly losing water and sinking. And so far it is unknown how far this process will go. The problem is that it is impossible to organize full-fledged work of specialists and researchers in the uncontrolled territory. And the Russian occupation administration ignores the problem.
After the cessation of water pumping in several closed mines in the territory controlled by the Luhansk People’s Republic militants, the Lozova and Vilkhova rivers almost disappeared. The Isakovskoe reservoir, the largest in the region, is rapidly flowing, from which the Alchevsk Metallurgical Plant draws water for its needs. Dozens of small ponds and lakes have completely dried up.
Donbass, as you know, is literally interrupted by galleries and workings. Until recently, the region had a complex system of pumping water from these underground cavities. The pumped water flowed into special mine ponds and reservoirs, as well as into natural reservoirs. Even in those mines that were closed in previous years, drainage systems tended to be maintained and operated. Considerable funds were allocated annually from the Ukrainian budget to support them. But after the arrival of the “Russian liberators” and the creation of “republics”, the pumping of water from a number of mines was stopped: the equipment was stolen, and the workings were simply flooded. The result was an imbalance in the complex water system. Water from springs now does not enter rivers and lakes, but goes into underground cavities. That is, less and less remains on its surface.
For example, pumps from three mines №9, the Artem and Romanivska mines supplied water to the already mentioned Isakivske reservoir. None of them is working now, but the drains on them until recently functioned. But the “people’s republic” thought that it was too expensive to pay for water pumping, and decided to stop it. After that, the water level in the reservoir fell sharply and decreased further.
When the problem became so large that it could no longer be ignored, the so-called “LPR government” still turned its attention to it. And he proposed a “genius” solution: “a program to restore the Isakov Reservoir.” Based on the project of the so-called “Minister of Nature of the People’s Republic of Luhansk” Yuri Degtyarev, 150 million Russian rubles now need to be allocated for water pumping, which should be used to purchase pumps, pay salaries to employees and more. That is, at first the militants destroyed the existing drain at the Romanivska mine (the pumps were obviously stolen), and now they brag that they have figured out how to solve the problem they created themselves.
However, if the Isakov Reservoir is still planned to be saved, then the fate of smaller rivers and reservoirs does not interest anyone at all. For example, near Luhansk, the so-called Luhansk Sea has become shallow, as a result of which there has also been a mass death of fish. And in Luhansk itself, Lake Osimka in Gorky Park has completely dried up, which has never happened before. “LPR ministers” do not comment on such incidents, and do not plan to purchase any pumps to save these reservoirs. As well as to save tens other reservoirs on all ORDLO which their local population used earlier for the economic needs (fishing, watering of kitchen gardens, etc.). Photos of dirty puddles left on the site of ponds that had water last year regularly appear on social networks. For example, a photo from the outskirts of Pervomaisk, where a cow got stuck in the mud of a dried-up pond, was widely distributed on the Internet. who used to swim in this place when the pond was still full. The animal was rescued by rescuers.
“Thirty years ago, it was possible to sail on a flat-bottomed boat in Vilkhivka. There were fish, crayfish, frogs. Now there is not even a stream left, ”locals write on social networks.
There is no doubt that the disappearance of water will cause great problems for the local population. In some places it will be impossible to engage in agriculture. Entire settlements will suffer from water shortages, and in some settlements it will be impossible to live at all after the disappearance of water sources.
However, ORDiLO loses water not only due to the barbaric destruction of mines, but also due to the collapse of water infrastructure. For example, in the Sverdlovsk region, an entire reservoir disappeared due to the breakdown of a dam, the technical condition of which was not monitored by the militants.
“Due to the negligence of officials of the Ministry of Environment of the People’s Republic of China and personally of Yuri Degtyarev, the republic last year lost the Dolzhansk Reservoir (popularly called Pavlovsky Pond), located outside the village of Biryukove, Sverdlovsk District. The thing is this: the dam of this reservoir is located on the border with Russia, and the river on which it stands, transits to Russia. After the latch broke on our side, the water began to flow rapidly and within a week the reservoir was gone.
And he is still missing. Degtyarev squandered about 10 million cubic meters of water. And the reservoir, by the way, belongs to the list of reservoirs which are a strategic water supply. There is a corresponding order of the “Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of China”. Given the lack of water in the republic, the loss of such a reservoir can be considered a sabotage. When the water completely disappeared, some people took out all the fish with gazelles, which is not one ton. The catch was carried out on the instructions of the “state inspector of the Department of Bioresources Protection of the Ministry of Environment” Viktor Anashkin. And now the question: who will be responsible for this and where is the detention? ” – goes to the public “Lugansk inside”, which covers events in the territory controlled by ORDLO.
Donbass is traditionally an arid region with a shortage of water. But the militants’ actions appear to have exacerbated an already difficult situation. And now the edge of the heaps is gradually turning into a desert. And most importantly, no one can say yet how long the current trends will last and what awaits Donbass in the end. It is obvious that the situation needs a very serious study with the involvement of international experts. But only the Russian occupation administration does not consent to the admission of such specialists and does nothing itself.
The disappearance of Donbass reservoirs is one of the issues that the Ukrainian government must now address wherever possible. First of all, at the level of the OSCE and the UN. After all, it is no longer a question of the fate of individual enterprises, but of the ecosystem of the entire European region. And the international community takes such issues very carefully and seriously.
All possible tools should be used to put pressure on Russia, to force it to recognize and to start solving the environmental problems created by its direct participation.