What impact did Russian military exercises have on the Black Sea ecosystem?

February 8, 2023

Yevhen Khlobystov, a member of the Expert Council of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development of Crimea, commented on the impact of Russian military exercises on the Black Sea ecosystem.

“Until February 24 last year, the Russians conducted constant military exercises near Cape Opuk. They searched the waters of the Black Sea almost every week. How many representatives of flora and fauna there were and died, and how it affected the ecosystems of the Black Sea, is very difficult to imagine, because they did not let anyone there to check the real state of the Black Sea, the ecosystem and the damage. Now they have stopped these exercises, because they do not have enough ammunition for this, they do not have enough technical capabilities”,- the expert noted.

He emphasized that a paradoxical situation may arise in which the military exercises held near Cape Opuk caused more problems for the Black Sea ecosystem than the movement of the Russian military and civilian fleet.

“They were throwing real bombs. No one counted how many elements, algae, benthos, flora and fauna were lost, no one paid any attention at all”,- he added.

Due to the occupation of Crimea and censorship, it is impossible to trace the scale of the consequences of the military exercises conducted by the Russians.

“The Russians are a potential danger associated with military actions. When they shoot along the coast, when something explodes in them without reaching it, when it explodes in the sea – this is a real danger, because one explosion can cause much greater damage to the flora and fauna of the Black Sea”,- he added