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The Impact of Conventional War on Natural Areas of the USSR

  • Nicolai N. Smirnov (a1)

Military destruction by conventional arms of both terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems is described, with emphasis placed on the effects of World Wars I and II on the territory of the USSR (especially of Russia, Byelorussia, and Ukraine). It is shown that a wide range of serious damage is done in terrestrial natural areas: to forests which may be decimated, to mammals which are commonly killed, and to the land which is extensively disturbed and rendered infertile or even uncultivable. Inland waters, too, are widely disturbed, though numerous new bodies of water may be formed in various ways, while fisheries are commonly disturbed, though ‘Wartime military activities can greatly reduce fish catches, to the benefit of fish populations.’

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