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Ucraina, Environment at the Crossroads

War is perhaps the phenomenon that best describes our belonging to the Anthropocene, a term used to summarise the current geological era, characterised by the dominance of human technique that possesses, controls, transforms, and corrupts everything. The will to power of a State, its elites, and possibly its vast population, is destined to collide with a specular and opposing force.  

Countless are the fires that have blazed on the timeline, small and large fires, seemingly ignited by independent political and economic phenomena. War is the biggest business: first, you produce for destruction, then for reconstruction. A perpetual cycle that resembles an instinct more than a conspiracy. Is it nature then? Our ferocity? Our passivity? The drowsiness that forever postpones the dream of harmony? 

The author was recently moved by the silent beauty of the Ukrainian steppe, the endless fields of wheat and sunflowers, the streams that cross woods and fields before flowing into the Dnieper, a majestic twist destined for the waters of the Black Sea, and from there, through the Bosphorus, to those of the Mediterranean Sea. The author recently felt anger and dismay at seeing one of the many dolphins disoriented and killed in the Black Sea by the sonars of ships, by sea mines, by poisoning following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, blown up by the Russians in an attempt to slow the Ukrainian advance to Kherson.  

Anger and dismay for a small portion of land mined, once again by the Moscow army, representing at least 170,000 km^2 that are now covered with lethal devices for animals, humans, and their agriculture. Along the frontline, which stretches like an arc for over 1,000 kilometers, prairies, fields, hills, and waterways are infested with annihilated military vehicles, their fragments, various pollutants, among which uranium will soon appear. Little is known about the fire that on August 22 burned vast portions of the Askania-Nova Reserve, especially the area called "Velykyi Chapelskyi Pid", which hosts an important wetland protected by the Ramsar Convention. 

Anger and dismay, above all, for the over 500,000 men and women killed or wounded in battle, whether Russian or Ukrainian. Their horribly mutilated bodies, pierced by iron, destined for a halved existence. Many of them are young. They would have been entitled, and perhaps will be, in times of lasting peace, to take up the other battle, the slow and exhausting one to defend the planet from climate change, from the thousand predatory forms that man exercises on the environment. 


Man against life, man against himself. Is this nature? 


Luca Foschi 

Journalist, PhD in Political Science 

Pics by OLEKSII ALIEKSIEIEV and Игорь on Pixabay  

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