Putin massacres Ukraine’s wildlife

My thanks to Maxim Tucker of The Times for writing about animal welfare in Ukraine. I have stolen his title but let’s think of wild animals as well as humans in this devastating and unnecessary war. In Putin’s wanton desire to annex Ukraine in any way he can, he has managed to slaughter a vast number of wild and domestic animals. The Times tells us that he has even conducted artillery training in Ukraine’s national parks. He is using Ukraine’s national parks as artillery ranges and as a consequence it’s been argued that he is engaging in environmental war crimes and ecocide.

Putin massacres Ukraine’s wildlife
Putin massacres Ukraine’s wildlife. This is a free to use image.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The Times reports that the devastation wreaked on Ukraine’s wildlife in his war against Ukraine includes the deaths of between 37,500 and 48,000 cetaceans (porpoises and dolphins). This is a devastating number when it is estimated that there are about 300,000 in Ukraine.

The dolphins are caught in the crossfire between Russians sending over missiles from Crimea to destroy Ukraine and Ukraine defending themselves with anti-missile defences.

Dolphins are being washed ashore in the Tuzly Lagoons National Nature Park. It is home to 265 species of animal including flamingos, swamp turtles, jackals, beavers, pelicans and eagles and of course dolphins.

Some scientists have blamed the deaths of the dolphins on Russia’s navy using sonar. In addition, blasts from the missiles and explosions have taken their toll.

The sound waves damage the dolphins’ navigation mechanisms. Or the enormous sound pressure waves suffocate the dolphins when they are submerged.

Maxim Tucker interviewed the national park’s manager, Iryna Vykhrystiuk, who said that: “The soldiers here told us that when there was bombing, they saw an incredible number of dolphins fleeing into the Danube River. Then we started finding dead dolphins; 122 times as many as in previous years.”

The devastation on Ukraine’s wildlife is so bad that a case is being developed against Russia for environmental war crimes and ecocide. They hope that one day they can bring the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

A British barrister, Richard Rogers, who has worked on war crime incidents in the Balkans and Cambodia is assisting Ukraine in this task.

Rogers said that, “Within the next year, we expect the prosecutor-general to initiate the first prosecutions for environmental war crimes and ecocide in Ukrainian courts.”

Rogers serves as the Executive Director of Climate Council.

Migrating birds are fleeing from Ukraine. They learn to avoid the place. With the artillery being used within the national parks, an ornithologist, said that, “The entire population of a hundred thousand birds just left the area and the following year only 5,000 to 6,000 came back”.

Some bird species such as the Dalmatian pelican left Ukraine and have never returned.

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