Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Environmental Management LAB Head Prof. Pereira said flooding June 6th from the damaged Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in Ukraine will have devastating effects on the environment for years.
In addition, he said mines, which are now possibly floating in the water and have reached other parts of Ukraine, are also a big environmental concern.
“It‘s a huge problem because we don‘t know how to reach the mines,“ he added. "It may take decades to find and clear the mines."
“All our well-being is connected to the well-being of the environment,“ Prof. Pereira said adding that the environmental damage will also impact surrounding countries in Europe.
Prof. Pereira and a team of researchers at the MRU Environmental LAB have been researching the effects of the Ukrainian War on soil, air and the environment.
The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant is in Ukraine‘s Nova Kakhovka was apparently damaged by an explosion earlier this month. The resulting flooding has engulfed houses and buildings in nearby cities and towns.
He also said that since Ukraine is the bread basket of the world, the continuing war impacts food security in the region and further away.
In 2022, Prof. Pereira and a team of researchers published a research article, “Russian – Ukrainian War Impacts the Total Environment“ discussing the impact of the war on the world economy and food security.
According to Prof. Pereira and the researchers who published the article in ''Science of the Total Environment“ journal, the war is already ''affecting areas beyond Ukraine (explosions in Russia and Moldova territory).''
In addition, researchers noted that last year there was already evidence about severe air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the intense fighting.
“The impact on the environment needs to be considered a war crime,“ said Prof. Pereira, who is continuing research on the effects of the war on Ukraine's environment.