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    The Russian-Ukrainian war is having a dramatic impact on the environment. The effects are still unknown. However, it is expected that the effects will be substantial. Since the conflict is ongoing, it is challenging to have ground-accurate data that could show an idea of the extension of the impact. Remote sensing can support a preliminary analysis in areas without safety to conduct fieldwork. This work aims to assess the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the environment using field and remote sensing sources. This is the first work that published fieldwork data from this conflict. Different soil properties were studied (e.g., texture and heavy metals) in different places (Novy Korotych and Mala Rohan). Remote sensing (e.g., Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) at different spatial scales (Eastern Ukraine and case study in the Kharkiv region) were assessed between 2021 and 2022. The results showed that the finer sediments increased in bombed areas compared with not bombed ones. Also, there was an increase in the content of heavy metals (e.g., Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead and Nickel) in soils in the shelled areas, compared to the non-shelled. This was mainly observed in the Novy Korotych site. Remote sensing analysis revealed that between 2021 and 2022 at a large scale (Eastern and southeastern Ukraine), vegetation greenness decreased in the areas where the combats are more intense (Luhansk and Donetsk) and increased in the southern area (Zaporizhia and Kherson), likely due to agriculture abandonment. On a small scale (case study in Kharkiv region), the vegetation greenness was affected due to the bombing. Although our results are preliminary, it is important to highlight that shelling is increasing soil pollution and contributing to vegetation greenness reduction where the fighting is intense. The actual impacts of the war still need to be understood entirely. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Maksym Solokha, Paulo Pereira, Lyudmyla Symochko, Nadiya Vynokurova, Olena Demyanyuk, Kateryna Sementsova, Miguel Inacio, Damia Barcelo. Russian-Ukrainian war impacts on the environment. Evidence from the field on soil properties and remote sensing. The Science of the total environment. 2023 Dec 01;902:166122

    PMID: 37567282

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