Ukrainian civic network. Different industrial cities - similar issues
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    Petition "Clean Air in Ukraine"

    Before signing this petition, try to hold your breath for 5 minutes. Have you tried? Easy?

    Addressees of the petition:
    Parliament of Ukraine Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management
    Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources
    Ministry of Health
    Regional state administrations, regional councils, local governments

    Atmospheric air remained the only free natural resource. The composition of any product and information about its manufacturer is provided on the packaging of this product. So you can quickly understand what you are planning to put in your mouth. We consume air every minute, but we have no idea about its composition. We are forced to consume it as it is in our cities.

    We do not have the ability to choose air quality, we are limited in this choice, although we have the right to know about its composition, because it directly affects our health and life.
    Humans are different from other living beings on planet Earth because they have a choice. Air quality depends on our choice today.

    Air pollution is one of the key threats to the environment and human health of present and future generations. According to the World Health Organization, polluted air can lead to premature death and cause birth defects in infants.

    The main source of air pollution is outdated technologies used in heavy industry - coal-fired power plants, metallurgical or chemical plants. The example of the EU shows that change is possible and that the economy can be greener and more accountable to citizens. At present, we are forced to pay for the profits of several industrial oligarchs for the health of millions of people.

    Don't choose between air pollution and health, choose clean air and demand with us:

    1. Develop and implement an updated independent, reliable system of integrated state air monitoring.
      Concentrate monitoring management in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources with adequate funding. The results of monitoring should be published in the public space (Internet) in the form of primary data, as well as averaged over observation stations, zones and agglomerations. Develop and implement a system of operational warning, warning and regulation of smog.
    2. Introduce an open register of permits.
      The current procedure for obtaining permits for pollutant emissions is outdated compared to the current procedure for environmental impact assessment and access to related information. At present, the procedure for placing information contained in emission permits by enterprises is not legally established and regulated. Such a gap significantly restricts everyone's right to free access to environmental information, as required by the Aarhus Convention, and limits the opportunities for citizens to participate in environmental decision-making.
    3. Update environmental decision-making procedures
      The results of air monitoring should be the basis for issuing emission permits, reviewing and revoking permits and developing air quality control measures.

    Petition authors:
    Clean air for Ukraine
    Anna Ambrosova - Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih
    Iryna Pirohova - All-Ukrainian Ecological League, Zaporizhia
    Maksym Soroka - expert on air pollution, Dnipro
    Olesya Kramarenko - Dzyga, Zaporizhia
    Olena Shafranova - PravoE, Kryvyi Rih

    Help us collect handwritten signatures - they are more valuable! You can download the signature sheet here: Download petition

    * Data marked with an asterisk are required.

    By signing this request, I consent to the use and processing of my personal data in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on Personal Data Protection, as well as consent to receive notifications through these channels.

      10 tips for health

      The most crucial thing when staying in areas with polluted air is to protect one's health. In the event of a smog situation, reduce outdoor activities. It is a matter of course to exclude any sport or outdoor games for kids. Do not ventilate excessively. Wearing a mask can protect you against fine particles.

      But how can one recognize a critical smog situation? That's a problem here.

      In European Union countries, the state provides continuous air quality measurement, whereas in Ukraine, responsibility is scattered across different authorities, and the information is usually unavailable to the general public. Ask at your municipality and demand that the city ensures air monitoring.

      Along with access to information, it is essential to enforce progressive legal rules and demand that industrial companies invest part of their profits in the modernization of obsolete technologies and observe the limitations in force. This is exactly what public organizations do in almost every industrial city. And you can support the initiative in your municipality.

      1) Regularly follow the quality of air in your city on the website

      2) In the event of severe air pollution, reduce outdoor activities to a minimum.

      3) Reduce airing and the opening of windows. Ventilate for just a short time.

      4) If you feel any health problems, do not postpone visiting your doctor and asking for a medical report.

      5) Consider installing an AirFreshMax station. The more stations that are utilized, the more accurate the data on air quality will be.

      6) Don't burn grass and leaves. Do not light an open fire.

      7) Do not use poor-quality coal for heating, and do not incinerate waste in a heater.

      8) Join the petition "Clean Air in Ukraine".

      9) Ask the municipality of your city to inform the citizens and solve the problem.

      10) Support environmental non-governmental organizations based in your city.

        Check your air with AirFreshMax monitoring station:

        AirFreshMax is a new generation air pollution monitoring station based on the "citizen science" concept, which is becoming popular all over the world. Where the state doesn't fulfil its responsibilities, citizens assume responsibility and do what needs to be done.

        The AirFreshMax air quality monitoring station is a device that allows monitoring and recording of the state of the ambient air, namely indicators of temperature, humidity and dust concentration PM2.5 and PM10 in real time. In addition to dust microparticles (PM2.5 and PM10), AirFreshMax monitors the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), ground-level ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (TVOC, VVOC).

        The AirFreshMax monitoring station was developed by experts from Ukrainian NGOs and is manufactured directly in Ukraine as part of social entrepreneurship. The AirFreshMax monitoring station is an improved version of the Oxygen station and provides an opportunity for every citizen to assess the content of the most common substances dangerous to human health in the air.

        The functionality of the device will allow not only to obtain real-time data on air quality, but also to accumulate large data for assessment and forecasting of pollution indices and risks to public health, using a personal account on the site

        This and other air quality monitoring devices are manufactured and tested by EcoCity experts in their own workshop. Production time is on average 1 week from the moment of the order (production, testing, calibration). After receiving, you can activate and configure the device using the manual on the site The station is powered by a standard USB adapter (5V 2A) that comes with the device. The length of the power cable is 7 meters.

        Use this form to order the equipment. The message will be sent to both the Clean Air team and the EcoCity team. We will then contact you by e-mail to confirm the order.

        *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

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          *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

            Do you have any questions, suggestions or comments?

            Let us know what is happening in your city!

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            *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

            Mariupol or Akhmetovsk? Air Pollution in Donbas

            25. 9. 2017,
            Mariupol or Akhmetovsk? Air Pollution in Donbas
            Air Pollution in Donbas

            To get to the city of Mariupol in the south of Donetsk Oblast in summer 2017 one had to go through several checkpoints controlled by soldiers with machine guns. The strategic port on the north coast of the Sea of Azov is one of the crucial areas of Ukraine at the moment. During the war in Donbas, Mariupol was attacked several times: in 2014, the city was controlled by pro-Russian forces for 3 months; in January 2015, 30 people were killed during a rocket attack before the city was defended by the Ukrainian forces with the help of local volunteers. Occasionally, one can still hear shooting as the battle line is only 30 km from the city.


            Full 10 % of all Ukrainian industrial production comes from Mariupol. During the 20th century, the iron and steel industries predominated in Mariupol. There are more than 50 large enterprises, and this leaves the city of 462,000 inhabitants extremely vulnerable to air pollution, and, economically, dependent on a single oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, who owns almost all of Mariupol’s industry. Akhmetov is the wealthiest man in Ukraine. He is the major shareholder of the Metinvest Group – a vertically integrated Ukrainian group of steel and mining companies – and the owner of two large metallurgical plants based in Mariupol: the Azovstal iron and steel works and the Ilyich iron and steel works. Established during the Soviet era, in the early 1930s, both plants are extremely technologically obsolete with outdated equipment lacking environmental safety controls.

            Let us breathe!

            Up to 98 % of all Mariupol emissions are produced by Metinvest steelworks. According to the journal The Ukrainian Week, the annual share of industrial air pollution in Mariupol in 2012 was 800 kg per citizen. In that year, the environmental situation became so critical that according to the local people, on some days it wasn’t possible to walk the streets without a respirator. Furthermore, in Mariupol, citizens weren’t officially warned about bad weather conditions by authorities and there was no official independent measurement of the air pollution.

            In January, a small informal group of activists called “Дайте кислорода!/ Let us breathe!” led by the activist Maksim Borodin, who later became a local councillor, organized their first protest in which 800 Mariupol people took part, demanding intervention by responsible authorities. Within a year, this platform became much bigger and in November 2012 it held another protest which was one of the biggest environmental protests ever organized in Ukraine. 10,000 people came in respirators to City Hall, and 13,000 people signed the anti-smog resolution presented to the Ukrainian government and president.

            After negotiations with Metinvest, the company decided to invest 620 million dollars into modernization, moved production from the obsolete Azovstal metal works to the neighbouring Ilyich metal works and suspended the sinter plant of Azovstal. Three obsolete coke ovens have been closed and several Azovstal filters have been repaired. Metinvest and the city council promised the people that they would try to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020.

            Fighting pollution through the public resistance

            “Before we began to exert pressure on Metinvest to make the company adhere to environmental standards we were used to breathing orange smoke. Today the air is noticeably better. Modernization is not yet complete, but the owner now knows that he is constantly the subject of public oversight,” says Maksim Borodin. There is still a great need for independent pollution monitoring in the city. Moreover, Borodin stresses how important it will be to change Ukrainian legislation and adapt it to European law, in order for it to be more financially advantageous for the big polluters to modernize than to break the environmental law and shirk their duties.

            Air improvement could help to stop the massive migration from the city, where the predominant industry gradually elbowed out small businesses and where people constantly suffer not only from the ongoing military conflict but also as a result of the extremely dangerous environmental conditions.

            Clean Air for Ukraine

            This project is led by a non-governmental organization Arnika (Czech Republic) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial towns of Ukraine with financial support from the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA). You can find more information about our activities and possibilities of involvement or share your thoughts with us by sending a message to


            Project partners: