Ukraine Liquidated Its Environmental Service to Simplify the Process of Smuggling Timber to the West

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The government of Ukraine liquidated the environmental control border service especially so that it could be possible to dispatch the timber to the west more simply.

This was stated at a press conference in Kiev by the director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center Vladimir Boreyko.

“Sneaky Groisman adopted and prepared a law on the destruction of the environmental control at customs, on the border. I.e. earlier there was environmental control subordinated to ecological inspection. Ecological inspectors worked there who had education, knowledge, and who could distinguish a beech from a birch, a pine from a fir-tree, an oak from a hornbeam. Now, under the guise of reducing the number of officials, environmental control is being cancelled, and the tasks of environmental control were transferred to customs officers – the most corrupt service in Ukraine – and to people who have no ecological knowledge and experience, and radiological control is transferred to border guards. This in general is nonsense. That’s why I very much doubt that the criminal investigations department will work, since for this purpose there is a need to hire experts and train them. Where will we find experts for the customs service? All of this is very bad,” said Boreyko.

In the last 15 years Ukraine felled two-three times more tress than the countries of the Western and central Europe:

“It is said that a very large amount of trees are being cut down in the Carpathians. This isn’t true. Trees are being felled most of all in the Zhytomyr and Rovno regions. According to ‘Global forest watch’ – a worldwide network that allows to carry out observation via pictures, in the last 15 years 800,000 hectares was felled in Ukraine by clear cutting, and in terms of size this is the equivalent of the territory of Chernovtsy region.

I.e. in 15 years the Chernovtsy region was cut down in Ukraine. In the Carpathian region trees were chopped down in Lvov – 63,000 hectares, in Ivano-Frankovsk – 46,000 hectares, in Chernovtsy – 30,000 hectares, and in Transcarpathia – 40,000 hectares. And, for example, in the Zhytomyr region – 139,000 hectares, and in the Rovno region – 111,000 hectares.

But since these regions don’t have any mountains, the deforestation isn’t visible there, but in the Carpathians everything is visible.

If we compare to Europe – the European mountain regions, then in 15 years Western Europe chopped down 2% of its forest area; Central Europe (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic) – 4%; Ukraine is ahead of all of Europe – 8 …

Here are some examples for you of what is being done in general in our forests,” said Boreyko.

The Poles don’t chop down their forests, preferring instead to import wood from Ukraine:

“The entire Polish woodworking industry exists thanks to Ukrainian timber. They don’t chop down their forests. You most likely heard the story where last year the minister-forester started to cut down the Białowieża Forest under the guise of sanitary cutting. So the European Union fined Poland for this and demanded to fire him. This is a well-known story,” stated Boreyko.

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