Ukraine’s Front Line: 75,000m³ of Timber Boosts Zelensky’s Defence

More than 200,000 cubic metres of lumber and raw wood has been supplied to the front, with Ukrainian officials now preparing for a long war.

Fri 31 May 24


Ukraine’s largest state enterprise, Forests of Ukraine, is on a “war footing” and is ramping up timber supply to help with the country’s massive military fortifications on the front line.

Last month, Wood Central reported that the conflict had destroyed 30% of Ukrainian forests – much of this managed by Forests of Ukraine, with Russian forces logging 60,000 hectares of forests and selling US $369 million of timber into global markets via “friendly countries.”

Since the start of the war, Forests of Ukraine have supplied more than 200,000 cubic metres of lumber and raw wood to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with more than 75,000 cubic metres of timber provided to the Defence Force “free of charge” in the first three months of this year alone.

In July, Forest Europe mapped out the battle zone areas over Ukraine's vast forests. (Photo Credit: Forest Europe)
In July, Forest Europe mapped out the battle zone areas over Ukraine’s vast forests. (Photo Credit: Forest Europe)

Yuriy Bolokhovets, the CEO of Forests of Ukraine, said, “Forests (the state enterprise) will find the volumes and organise the delivery – no matter what point on the map of Ukraine we are talking about.”

“We are the largest state-owned company, (and) if necessary, Forests of Ukraine is ready to increase the volume of supplies significantly,” he said.

Engineers are using timber, concrete and steel to build massive fortifications.

The pledge comes as Ukrainian engineers work around the clock to build defensive fortifications to stop Russia’s troops from advancing 27 months into their full-scale invasion. President Zelensky is now focusing on a massive building programme, with Ukrainian government officials now preparing for a long-drawn-out war.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky views a German-made Leopard 2 tank with the 21st separate mechanised brigade during a visit to the frontlines in the Kharkiv region. The forests of Kharkiv are the new battleground as Russia’s all-out assault on Ukraine escalates. (Photo Credit: Ukraine Presidency/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/Alamy Live News)

So far this year, Ukraine has spent more than US $650 million fortifying its border with Russia and on the frontlines of the conflict in the east and south. This includes more than 100,000 “dragon teeth” (a mix of metal reinforcements, attached poles, and plastic sheeting) along a 2,000km border zone.

Beyond the “dragon’s teeth” is “the so-called anti-tank trench, very deep and very wide, hundreds of metres long,” according to Ukrainian contractor Yuri Ilyashek, who spoke to Reuters last month, with teams of engineers and contractors preparing to rebuild fortifications ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive starting in the Spring and Summer.

2.9 million hectares of Ukrainian forests damaged by conflict

To date, more than US $63 billion in environmental damage has occurred in the country since the start of the conflict – with Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv amongst the hardest hit areas. 

Last year, Wood Central reported that 2.9 million hectares of Ukrainian forests had been impacted by military activity—with the forests now home to the world’s largest number of undetonated landmines.

Heavy disturbance to aboveground ecosystems, soils, and water systems, as well as the accumulation of solid waste, military equipment, and human and animal bodies, has significantly impacted forest health.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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