Military action and destruction contribute of the ecological disaster in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions

Mykhailo VOLYNETS, Chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine:

‘It’s possible in the near future that there will be an ecological disaster in Donbass region, as well as in some areas of Russia.  I’ll try to explain my warnings.  

The mine “Poltava” In Yenakiyeve-town had been flooded and now the same is happening with the nearby mine “Uglegorsk”.  In the same proximity there is mine “Yunkom”, where the nuclear explosion happened in 1979. Now contaminated mine’s water are rising, causing   the radioactive substances’ rise to the surface. Please take a notice, that in such a case the level of radioactive contamination can exceed the norm in 1000 times! Also another mine “Alexander West” is very close to this territory. In   1989 there was a penetration of 50 tons of chemicals into it. As a result, in underground mono-chlorobenzene mixed with other dangerous compounds and formed an explosive mixture. The bodies of miners, who were trapped in this mine, simply vanished.  This area was isolated and mine “Alexander West” was closed.

At present we have the military conflict and destruction in some territories of Donbas. If uncontrolled flooding of mines continues, these harmful chemicals will come to the surface, poisoning drinking water.  In addition, this waters will flood basements, fields, roads etc.   We’ll see a swamp. Also the tributaries of Siversky Donets River, the Sea of Azov, and even some Russia territory will be poisoned. I must remind you that 25 years ago more than 100 mines were closed in the Rostov region. The river Don may be affected with poisoning as well.

So we must pay attention to these threats and realize the approaching catastrophe caused by the military activity in Donbas. Military actions and destruction keep contributing to the ecological disaster in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Life in these territories will be very difficult, especially in winter. People need trustworthy information and have to be aware of their nearest future. They  must understand that toxic mine waters will lift to the surface  in 4-5 months  or maybe even faster.

In Ukraine 136 coal mines have operated until recently. Today there are only 12 mines are functioning in Lviv-Volyn basin, cities Pavlograd, Krasnoarmiysk, Selidovo, Dobropillya, Pervomaisk and Lysychansk. In general, there are 56 mines in Donbas are in working conditions and 12 of them are in the occupied territories.  Also 80 mines located in the occupied territory of  Donetsk and Lugansk regions have  been abandoned, flooded or closed. This is a huge tragedy’.