The Great Meadow Rebirth

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about the human tragedy and environmental damage caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station dam by Russian occupiers.


An interesting aspect of this story is that it contains a double crime against Ukraine and its people. The first crime was the construction of this dam, which flooded a vast area of ​​the Dnipro River floodplains, historically known as the Great Meadow.


Ukrainian Cossacks called the Great Meadow their father, for the shelter and security it provided. The Great Meadow is not only an important part of national identity, which the empire always tried to overcome but also a unique ecosystem of river floodplains in Europe in terms of size.


In the previous post, I wrote about hope, in the context of reviving of nature in the Chornobyl exclusion zone. Similarly, we can observe the restoration of the Great Meadow. Fears of sandstorms from the bottom of the drained reservoir and soil salinization have not been realized at least for now. Traditional vegetation is gradually reclaiming the reservoir basin: reeds, willows, black poplars, and in drier areas, pines and oaks are returning. Along with the vegetation, the inhabitants of the floodplains are returning: countless birds (herons, sandpipers, ducks, cormorants, falcons, hawks, just to name a few), otters, martens, reptiles, and amphibians.

 Great Meadow

This territory is currently a gray zone of military operations, but, as in the case of the Chornobyl zone, this greatly limits anthropogenic influence on the territory, giving us hope for the restoration of the Great Meadow in its pristine grandeur and beauty, and its transformation into a reserve. 200,000 hectares of forests will have a positive impact on the ecosystem and climate on the scale of the entire Black Sea region.