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Blogs of political scientists

Ruslan Bortnik: Why are cemeteries growing in Ukraine?

Ruslan Bortnik: Why are cemeteries growing in Ukraine?

The network is filled with waves of publications about supposedly rapidly growing cemeteries in Ukraine. They write that the reason for this is “military losses that are hidden by the authorities.” For example, Russian media wrote that the cemetery in Cherkasy has grown the most geographically in Ukraine - by 67 hectares.

Yes, cemeteries are growing in Ukraine, as in other countries, but the reasons for this growth may be different. Moreover, in the period 2014-2022. 99% of the causes of death in Ukraine are not directly related to the war (although the fighting in 2014-2015 was very active) - but as a consequence of cardiovascular and cancer diseases.

At the same time, from 2015 to 2022 inclusive, from 574 thousand people died annually in Ukraine (in 2017) to 714 thousand people (in 2021); on average - about 600 thousand people annually.

Therefore, even if we take into account that 3,3 square meters of territory must be allocated for each burial, and even without taking into account the creation of promising cemeteries, over the past 8 years the territory of cemeteries should have grown by at least 15 square meters or 820 hectares.

This is the territory of several small towns in Ukraine.

Of course, we do not take into account the number of cremations, but 3,3 square meters for burial is a conservative standard. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the factor of mass outflow of population from Ukraine, internal displacement, and the impact of war on the deterioration of the quality of life (nutrition) and healthcare.

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 About the Author:
RUSLAN BORTNIK
Political scientist, candidate of political sciences
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