Ukraine starts preparation to the Winter Olympic Games 2022 with natural reserve destroying

Organization of international sports competitions is a kind of a test of European standards compliance for current Ukrainian Government. Guests of such competitions can see clean streets, sports infrastructure, and of course cheap beer – and they come back to their homes with an impression that they visited really civilized country. But this impression is true only at the first glance. All this is only a bright foreside, a show-case for foreigners, and for this purpose Ukrainian Government unhesitatingly breaks civil rights of the citizens, including the right for a healthy environment.
The most "famous" event which demonstrates this approach is EURO-2012. During its preparation the Government has been massively destroying parks and green zones in Kharkiv and Kyiv.
Now, Ukrainian politicians are focused on the Winter Olympic Games 2022. With these ambitions in mind they have already started to destroy a natural reserve in Ternopil region.

Biathlon is one of the Olympic winter sports. Hoping to conduct biathlon competitions in 2022, Ukrainian authorities began modernization of the biathlon base of the the Ternopil regional athletic-sporting society "Kolos". The base is situated near Podgorodnoe village in Ternopil region.
It is planned to create here a shooting range of 30 stands that fits international standards. Construction of a new ski roller trail is already started – also in accordance with the most "modern requirements". As biathlon unites cross country ski racing with shooting, it is necessary to cut down trees and to uproot stumps for such a trail. The problem is that trail is located inside Ivanivskiy botanical wildlife sanctuary.

Ivanivskiy botanical wildlife sanctuary was created in 1977 near Podgorodnoe village. The sanctuary protects the oak-hornbeam forest with many century-old trees and Red Data Book plants, for example Lesser Butterfly-orchid (Platanthera bifolia) and Turk's cap lily (Lilium martagon).

Construction of the ski roller trail started in August and an area of approximately one hectare has been cut down already. The worst thing is that Lesser Butterfly-orchid and Turk's cap lily, for which protection the reserve was created, disappear exactly because of logging!
Locals were outraged by this destruction and complained to various authorities but all their complaints had the same answer: "everything is according to the law". Only at the beginning of September, when this problem became known in the scale of the whole Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers gave a directive to the Ternopil Environmental Inspection to check up the situation in the sanctuary.

Unfortunately the situation when natural reserves are being destroyed for someone’s private interests, and the authorities are inactive or even assists the destruction, are constantly happening in Ukraine now. However, the problem of Ivanivskiy wildlife sanctuary is an outstanding one because of the fact that its destruction allegedly happens for sports development and the Winter Olympics organization.
And, by the way, it was found out that despite of all promises of authorities the new ski roller trail does not respect the international standards: the distance from the trail to nearest buildings is about 500 meters, while the standards require it to be not less than 2 km…

The photos of the trail in the sanctuary are given below.

Yaskiv Vladislav (Ternopil region): tel. +38 067 350-24-69
Sergey Balobin, EG "Pechenigy": sbalu@maі, tel. +38 066 255-73-97, Skype: sbaluu

Prepared by Environmental Group "Pechenigy", by the member of International Social-and-ecological Union.
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