“Black holes” of Donbass

War is killing Donbass. But… it begun to be killed long time ago before a war. Power decided that this industrial region also could be the industrial rubbish dump. And people of Donbass have never raised environmental issues and execution of ecological norms by enterprises. They always don’t mind about anything.

Environmental “hole”

The “eco-police” and Ministry of Ecology were only one of the function of getting bribes and cleaning of the money. Millions were written out on the “environment” and lands were dying at this moments. Mine dumps fired on the territory of Sverdlovsk long time before a war. 45 burning waste banks around one town.

When in 2007 I tired from childhood diseases and constant taste of soda in the mouth, I raised the issue of fighting and reclamation of waste dumps (waste banks), I began to explore the ecology of Donbass and it made horror to me. The system of the ecology enterprises on reclamation of mine waste storages existed on Donbass from the Soviet times. Now it simply inactive, cleaning the millions of money. Waste banks, which were burning and isolating carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and almost the entire periodic table were landscaping and extinguished in documents.


The head of Sverdlovsk Environmental Department and at the same time the leader of Sverdlovsk office of “Green Party of Ukraine” Hennady Moskvitin in 2007 signed the documents, showing that the waste bank of mine #42 was extinguished and landscaped. Thuja, pine trees, rare trees, juniper… on a few hundreds of thousand of hryvnias. But waste bank continued to burn, moreover, locals organized there dump. It’s not a Donbass tradition to dispose garbage in the designated areas, to pay for transfering it. The absence of the ecology education of population has brought to the pollution of rare springs, wells and prairies on Donbass. The residents of this region don’t consider dangerous this poisoning of water and air with industrial waste. When I raised the question about releasing into the atmosphere of the products of combustion dumps, I had a remark, that we always lived in this way. People didn’t want to change anything in the questions of environment.


And what about power? Its representatives just were “sawing” money. The exceeding of the maximum permissible concentration of harmful substances in the air of Sverdlovsk of Luhansk region, according to measurements of the Sanitary inspection took 45% in 2007-2010 period. The public of the city collected few thousands of signs in 2009 and could make the owner to proceed to extinguish the burning dump. The territory of the village Sverdlov 1-2, where was burning waste bank, was recognized as the zone of ecological disaster by the decision of Sverdlovsk City Council. Social activists achieved the allocation of 12 million UAH from the state budget of Ukraine to hold the environmental events, pay the compensations for victims and give annual free passes for rehabilitation. In time of burning rock spoil heap reached the temperature of 1200 degrees Celsius. Near smoked one more in a fading condition (the temperature of 400 degrees Celsius) where appeared honeycombs because of long burning. 7 people died (fall down into opens) on the waste bank #23 in a period 2007-2010.


Waste banks of Sverdlovsk are continuing to burn now. But, there is nobody to watch for the condition of atmospheric air, environment and implementation of the ecology program… Now DTEK of Akhmetov is owner of the waste banks and even goblins-militants won’t go against him. He is a Master! He can do everything!

The freedom in the hell

Donbass wanted freedom. It loudly claimed about wish to be independent and free. I want to ask from what or who? But I ask another question: can Donbass be the master on its own territory, can it be not a slave of Russia or Akhmetov?

Good owner keeps own house clear. Good master does his house autonomous and independent. Good owner takes care about house and people living in it. The population of Donbass didn’t notice the life on the dump before a war. Now armed people, captured the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk regions are crying about their love to this lands. If it’s love… Be honest with yourself. You’re just earning money, allocated on the war by masters. Nobody from standing “for freedom of Donbass” didn’t raise the questions of the level of life, didn’t have interest about level of environmental safety. And about now? Do people, captured Donbass, think about the ecology of the land? Do they ready to manage by their own forces with burning opens, nuclear and chemical waste?

“Hot Spots” of Donbass

So, what will be with this dusty and wounded land? Who will solve all ecological problems? How the “hot spots” in the environment of Donbass will influent on the life of the cities and towns, territory and health of residents in general? Is government of Russia ready to finance the ecology of Donbass in a case of its full annexation?

Let’s look deeper in the “hot spots” of Donbass:


  • Mine. Mine fields. Unexploded ordnances. It’s the new illness in the body of Donbass. It needs concentrated attention. Years and thousands (UAH or RU?) are needed to demine territories of ex-warfare.
  • Sverdlovsk. Luhansk region. 45 waste dumps are burning, they need to be put out and reclaimed. 2 waste tailing dumps are in a critical condition and their breakthrough can cause the flooding of 3 villages. The sewerage system is absent and wastewater pollute nearby streets, there is a threat of outbreaks of hepatitis and viral pneumonia in the village Komsomolsky (Sverdlovsk district). Townships Shakhtersky, Lenina-Volodarskogo are located near the sludge storage, which stayed from the closed enterprise “Intersplav”. This factory recycled waste, delivered from Chernobyl zone. The residents of these villages are suffering from cancers, thyroid diseases, children born with pathology. Closed mine #42. Its waters poison the district with unknown wastes, which were loaded down in the mine in time of its closing. Those, who alive, underwent chemotherapy from radiation sickness. The most innocent for dwellers is 35 illegal coal craters around. But, after their uncontrolled activity the shrinkage of the soil has begun.
  • Yenakievo, Donetsk region – the famous closed mine “Uncom”. Soviet scientists in 1979 made an underground nuclear blast in mine tunnels on a deep of 903 meters. As a result of explosion the chamber capsule formed under the ground, where 95%+ products of radioactive decay still keep. The slag mountain of Yenakievo Steel poisons atmosphere too. Only aborigens accustomed to the stench and not worry about their health can locate near it.
  • Horlovka, Donetsk region. 2 temporary burial grounds, inside of what “bloody poison” (mono nitro chlorine benzene), quicksilver and other substances are located on the territory of Horlovka Chemical plant. The condition of burial ground and the volumes of poisons are unknown, the control under the object is absent. locals don’t like to discuss the hypothetical situation if it breakthrough and drain outside, because they’re afraid.
  • Donetsk – Donetsk state factory of chemical products is the storage of the nuclear waste from the Soviet times. There is no any radioactive control. The burial ground lost its impermeability in 1995 (burials are from 1966). Not less than 5 times the “nuclear mushroom cloud” has raised under the factory (19.08.2014, 20.09.2014, 20.10.2014, 08.02.2015, and 16.06.2015).
  • Avdeevka, Donetsk region – Avdeevka Coke plant and steelmakers. All the enterprises of the metallurgical complex are extremely dangerou, because in a case of hitting of the shell in the tanks with a big number of chemical substances, it would be emissions, combustion, pollution of groundwater. These chemical substances can poison Seversky Donets river. Avdeevka Coke is the biggest enterprise in Europe keeping ammonium.
  • Schastie, Luhansk region. Dams of Luhansk TPS and filter stations with stocks of poisonous chlorine. In a case of leakage of chlorine from the filtering stations nothing won’t stay alive around few kilometers.
  • Methane. 18 mines of Donbass are the enterprises with increased concentration of methane. Ukraine remembers black dates of mines “Zasyadko” and “Sukhodolskaya-Vostochnaya”. The degassing tube are located on the territory in the places of concentrating of the methane. Emissions of methane, a destruction of degassers and lit of degassing tubes is not the full list of trouble, which can make people, aren’t realizing the responsibility for the territory. If methane concentrates in the underground capsules, which are located under the cities, this could bring to the explosion and destroy city.


  1. Radon. Horrible gas without colour and smell, which gathers in the basement accommodations and brings to the radioactive pollution. Radon is everywhere on Donbass. It gathers in the cellars of housings, schools and kindergartens and not only in mine tunnels. The state program of checking of the concentration of radon existed earlier. According to it all children’s school institutions have been tested. Now control under radon and under other indices of the environmental hazard of the district is absent on the occupied territory.


Of course, the opportunity to draw, decrease, “measure” like it’s needed always exists, like in Soviet times. “L-DPR” are sinning by peacockery about everything, only not with Ukraine. Something about our neighbors from the right side on the world’s map. Beginning the war on Donbass, which borders with winds, prairies, mine workings, mine waters with RF, the country-gas station didn’t take into account the industrial and ecological “potential” of the “liberated” territory. Mine waters, polluted with radiation and products of expansion of unauthorized burial, radiation, methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, radon and other charms of the seized territory don’t have any political preferences. They don’t care who to kill, like Russians.

The environmental bomb of Donbass, the wick of which paved the Soviet power, the “Party of Regions” richly crafted with explosively combustible mixture and Russia burned, will explode earlier or later. The circumstances of the ecological disaster on the occupied territory could burn parts of Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov regions. I think that soldiers of RF, stationing in industrial objects don’t even suspect that they sleep on the radioactive burial grounds of Donbass.

Helen Stepova for informator.lg.ua