At least 32 fossil fuel and agricultural facilities were flooded due to the Russian destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine
The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on the 6 of June, caused by the Russian invasion, might cause the spill of the chemicals, gas, oil, and petrol used in residential, agricultural, industrial, and commercial areas into the water of the flooded areas. Greenpeace research based on satellite data has shown that oil refineries, petrol stations, combined heat and power plants, and various warehouses have been flooded. All this is in addition to at least 150 tons of engine oil that was reportedly released during the first days of the disaster.
Even small amounts of these substances are enough to contaminate soil and water bodies, and many people will have to live without fresh water for the time being. Especially the flooding of the industrial areas can cause the highest pollution, which will be carried away directly from the area and washed downstream, polluting the Black Sea and the coastal areas.
The consequences for aquatic organisms in the Kakhovka reservoir and the Dnipro River will be enormous. This will include harm to habitats of fish, birds, amphibians, and animals in general, as well as pollution of water bodies and coastal and terrestrial areas.
“Where the water is now receding, large-scale contamination with mineral oil hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons must be expected. Heavy metal contamination must also be examined. Soils and water bodies may not be used for food production or as drinking water reservoirs for a long time if they are not monitored and, if necessary, properly remediated.” commented chemist Manfred Santen, Greenpeace Germany.
As we mentioned before, Greenpeace CEE warns of huge environmental damage from the destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka Dam caused by the Russian invasion. The organization also monitors the situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as the water level drop could lead to a collapse of the dyke holding the water in the pond needed to cool the highly radioactive fuel inside the plant.