The Siversky Donets is the largest river on the territory of Ukraine. It passes through three regions: Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia, active combat operations have been taking place in its basin, which may affect the environmental situation in the region. One of the biggest changes in the environment, which occurred due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, was the demolition of one of the gates of the Oskilsky water reservoir at the border of Kharkiv and Donetsk regions on April 2.
Nearly 355.5 million cubic meters of water were discharged from the reservoir, which led to the raising of the level of the Siversky Donets and exposed near 9,000 hectares of the polluted bottom of the reservoir. Environmentalists warn that the forests which are located in the Siversky Donets River floodplain are inevitably affected by its waters. And a decrease in the level of water in the river will lead to their degeneration. This will in turn cause erosion of the soil.