In June 2022, after the damage to the drilling platforms belonging to the Ukrainian company “Chernomorneftegaz”, which were seized by the Russian troops in 2014 and illegally used both for the extraction of hydrocarbons and for the location of the aggressor’s military infrastructure on them, the occupiers began to claim “significant harm to the Black Sea’s ecology”.

Our Association pointed out that environmental losses from damage to drilling rigs are comparable to environmental damage that is constantly caused by illegal extraction of hydrocarbons. In addition, the cessation of production due to damage also reduces the burden on the ecosystem, and in general, natural gas emissions are not an extraordinary phenomenon for the Black Sea.

At the same time, Russian propaganda broadcasts the statement of the head of “Rosprirodnadzor” Svetlana Radionova that there are no environmental threats due to the damaged platforms, and a corresponding survey of the water area “is not planned”. Such a sudden aggressor’s “change of position” has two main reasons.

First, the Russian occupiers are unlikely to be able to safely send own military or “border” ships to the waters off Zmiiny Island, where the corresponding drilling rigs are located, and therefore they simply cannot carry out any “surveys”.

But secondly, the Russian invaders understand that any their statements about “pollution” raise questions of the criminality of the hydrocarbon extraction itself captured by the drilling aggressor, about which relevant international processes have been ongoing since 2017, in particular in the legal dimension.

It is noteworthy that at the same time the aggressor’s propaganda claims the alleged “sufficiency of energy resources” of the occupier-controlled “Chernomorneftegaz” for the Crimea, but at the same time, the accomplices of the Russian occupiers in Melitopol “suddenly began” to criminally announce the supply of electricity to the Crimea from Zaporizhzhya NPP.