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Euromaidan Press
2 Sep 2023
Orysia Hrudka

Fire breaks out in Russia-occupied Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve

A fire has erupted within the Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve, situated in the occupied territory of Kherson Oblast. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine’s press service reported on their Telegram account that the fire has spread across an area of approximately 7,000 hectares in the “Pivdenna” section.

The Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve, which came under Russian occupation in 2022, has faced various challenges. Despite the occupation, it continued to function in a Ukrainian format until March 25, 2023, when it fell under Russian control.

Askania-Nova is a nature reserve situated in Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast, which encompasses a zoological park, a botanical (dendrological) garden, and an expansive expanse of untouched steppes. Positioned amidst the arid Taurida steppe near Oleshky Sands, it participates in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. Additionally, before the full-scale invasion and Russian occupation, it functioned as a research institute under the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

In the beginning of August, wildfires were also reported the most valuable steppe area within the Dzharylhach National Nature Park, located on Dzharylhach island in the Black Sea. Since the full-scale invasion began, the island has fallen under Russian occupation, and the special administration of the national park is unable to ensure its preservation.

Wildfires devastate most valuable steppe area on Dzharylhach island, occupied by Russia, warns UNCG