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The ecological safety as a part of national security of Ukraine

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Dynamics of anthropogenic and natural emergencies

The excessive anthropogenic pressure on the environment (formed in times of a command-administrative control system) has led in a large measure to the present crisis in terms of the environmental safety of Ukraine. First of all this pressure affects the regions with a developed industry (such as Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia regions). The industrial regions are areas with an extremely high risk of anthropogenic accidents and catastrophes. This risk is constantly increasing by reason of obsolete equipment and a low technological level.

Also the chemical and oil industries have a considerable negative influence on the environment. Over 120 large water intakes are located in areas of potential or existing sources of oil-chemical pollution. The sewerage and water supply systems are also in a critical condition. According to information from the Committee of Housing, Construction and Architecture, one fourth of the purifying systems are in an disastrously poor condition, and 40% of the pump systems need to be changed. As a result the number of accidents on sewerage systems of Ukraine is 10 times higher than in European countries.

An analysis of the influence level of anthropogenic factors on the ecological systems shows that the degradation level of environmental components is higher than the level of adaptability of living creatures to the new living conditions in Ukraine. Therefore, there is a real threat of irreversible changes in the environment which, in turn, can pose a threat to the health and lives of the Ukrainian people.
The accumulation of industrial wastes is a potential threat because it very often takes place in a manner that violates project decisions and safety rules. The area of closed mines is widening, flooding processes are intensifying, and the level of soil firmness is decreasing. There is a strong possibility of an ecological catastrophe on approximately 15,000 km² of the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions if there is a further intensification of these processes.

Many emergency situations have been caused by unfavourable hydro-meteorological conditions.
According to data from the Ministry of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe and to the Act on  classification of emergencies, 2,117 emergencies took place in 1998, including 713 anthropogenic, 424 natural (150 medical-biological) and 980 other ones. As a result 948 people died and 4,499 people were injured. 17 national level emergencies, 185 regional emergencies, 628 local emergencies and 1,287 emergencies at facility level took place.

 The number of considerable national level and regional emergencies decreased from 355 to 202 in comparison to 1997. The number of national level emergencies decreased from 41 to 17 as well. But the general data show a significant increase of emergencies as well as emergency fatalities for the last four years. So, comparing to 1997, the number of emergencies increased by 11.3%, the number of deaths increased by 26.4%, and the number of injured people increased by 59.5%. (Table 7.1).

The distribution of considerable state and national emergencies.

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The most significant natural occurrences were the catastrophic flood in Zakarpattia Region, accidents at mines in Donetsk and Lugansk. To this list of natural catastrophes one also can add landslides and destruction of roads in the Autonomous Republic the of the Crimea, flooding caused by rising ground water in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Mikolaiv regions, rain flooding in Lviv Region and squall winds in Rivne Region.

The data of emergencies is shows in the Table 7.2

The majority of emergencies took place in the regions of Dnipropetrovsk (175), Odesa (141), Lviv (137) and Donetsk (128), in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and in the city of Kiev (150). The greatest number of deaths was registered in Donetsk Region (179), and many people also died in Lugansk (81), Odesa (79) and Dnipropetrovsk (72) regions. The largest number of injuries was registered in Zakarpattia (1149), Odesa (578), Donetsk (569), Zhitomyr (381) and Dnipropetrovsk (245) regions.(Table 7.3).

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