Experts of our Association closely monitor the measures of the Russia’s invaders to artificially change the hydrological balance of the Crimea and the relevant media support. In particular, since 2020, Russian propaganda has claimed on the allegedly discovery the “underground rivers” which allegedly flow on the peninsula into the Sea of Azov. It was stated that such discovery was done by the “Crimean scientists”, through the usage of a modern magnetic resonance technology. In 2021, the Russia’s highest leadership announced the alleged beginning of the research for appropriate “water deposits” in the Sea of Azov, without specifying in its own propaganda the relevant research area.

In particular, the Russian government’s prescript № 596-р on March 13, 2021 allocated an additional 270 million rubles to “solve the problems of water supply” of the Crimea in the part of “geological exploration with the search for new deposits”. Although the area of the relevant “exploration” was not publicly defined by the occupiers in own “regulations”, the Association’s experts have found a number of publications by scientists of the so-called “Sevastopol State University” and the “Research Institute of Agriculture of Crimea”, which apparently became the basis for these Russian authorities’ statements and decisions. In particular, these are the publications of associate professors Volodymyr Pashtetsky, Mykola Kovalev, Lidia Lukina, Svitlana Soldatova, Lidia Frolova and others.

In particular, these researchers believe that the relevant “underwater rivers” have “unloading into the Sea of Azov” allegedly in the area of the village of Prostorne, Dzhankoi district of the Crimea. Thus, their work implies the need for an alleged “search for groundwater” in the areas of the Sea of Azov, namely close to the Arabat Spit, in particular near the administrative line and, accordingly, near the Genichesk District of the Ukraine’s Kherson Region. At the same time, it is worth to point out the abstractness and unproven arguments of these authors, the superficiality of their research, which directly follows from their published works.

It is very likely that such works are more propagandistic than scientific, and that they can be used by Russia to “justify” the intensification of its own destructive actions in the waters of the Sea of Azov. In particular, at least it is not clear why the “extraction” of water from “underground rivers” (if, of course, they exist in reality) should be done exacty in the sea, and not on the Crimean land, under which these “rivers” allegedly flow.

The “ARC” will continue to closely monitor relevant aggressor’s attempts to interfere negatively in the Crimean ecosystems and regional security and we will inform both readers and international organizations on those issues.