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Zelenskiy says Russian war causes environmental calamity for Ukraine

On Wednesday, 14 December, Volodymyr Zeleskiy, the Ukrainian president, stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would cause long-term environmental damage. He asked New Zealand to be a leader in diplomacy on the issue.

Zelenskiy was the second foreign leader to address New Zealand’s parliament via video link from Ukraine. He stated that Russian terrorists had contaminated the country’s oceans and 3 million hectares (7.4million acres) of forest.

According to the parliament’s translation, it was said that hundreds of rivers had been polluted and that many coal mines were under water. He said that Russian strikes had destroyed dozens of hazardous enterprises, including chemical ones.

He stated that “all of this…will impact on millions of people”, in reference to contamination of mines, munitions, and the leakage of hazardous chemicals.


Zelenskiy said, “You can’t rebuild nature that has been destroyed, just as you cannot restore lives that have been destroyed.”

Zelenskiy encouraged New Zealand to support Kyiv and lead UN efforts to restore Ukraine’s security in the environment and to remove all mines.

In its 10th month, war with Russia calling it a “special opera” to demilitarize Ukraine, but Kyiv calling it an unprovoked conquest, has left behind millions and decimated entire cities.


Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand Prime Minister) announced Wednesday that she would be providing humanitarian assistance in the amount of NZ$3,000,000 and assured Zelenskiy it wasn’t a forgotten conflict.

New Zealand, a small Pacific Country of just over 5,000,000 inhabitants, has given almost $40 million in assistance and sanctioned more Russian entities than 1,200 since February.

Ardern stated that “our support for Ukraine doesn’t depend on geography”, adding that it wasn’t determined by geography, diplomatic relations, or relationship. “Our judgment was straightforward: We asked ourselves what if it was us.”

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