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Mythical Mexican Mural

Mythical Mexican Mural

The mural on the northern wall of Mexico City's Central Library, on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico — the largest university in Latin America — is a sight to behold. The central section depicts the mythical founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the former capital of the Mexican Empire, with an eagle eating a snake while perched atop a cactus. Ruins of the ancient city-state can now be found in Mexico City"s downtown.

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Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Dam Attack Adds To Ukraine's Huge Environmental Toll, Already Estimated At $54 Billion

The blowing up of the Nova Kakhovka dam has unleashed massive flooding in southern Ukraine. The damage is sure to be staggering, which will add to the huge toll the government estimated in March that takes into account land, air, and water pollution, burned-down forests, and destroyed natural resources.

Photo of a burnt forest in Kharkiv

Local men dismantle the remains of destroyed Russian military equipment for scrap metal in a burned forest in Kharkiv

Anna Akage

-This article was updated on June 6, 2023 at 2 p.m. local time-

The blowing up of a large Soviet-era dam on the Dnipro river, which has sparked massive flooding, may turn out to be the most environmentally damaging of the Ukraine war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has blamed Russia for the attack on the Nova Kakhovka dam, calling it "ecocide," with the flooding already estimated to affect over 16,000 people in surrounding villages, many of whom have been told to evacuate immediately. So far, eight villages have been flooded completely by water from the dam's reservoirs.

Moscow, meanwhile, says Kyiv is behind the blast in occupied areas of Ukraine. But even before knowing who is to blame, environmental experts note that is just the latest ecological casualty in the 15-month-long conflict.

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In March, for the first time, there was an estimate of the cost of the environmental damage of the war on Ukraine: $54 billion.

Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, explained that experts have applied a new methodology based on environmental inspection to tally the cost.

“This includes land, air, and water pollution, burned-down forests, and destroyed natural resources,” he said. “Our main goal is to show these figures to everyone so that they can be seen in Europe and the world so that everyone understands the price of this environmental damage and how to restore it to Ukraine.”

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