It may take up to 70 years to clear landmines from the territory of Ukraine completely, taking into account the scale of pollution and the availability of resources in Kyiv.
“To solve this problem as soon as possible, we need strong support from international partners – financial, technological, organisational. To synchronise and coordinate the efforts to clear the territories, it is necessary to create an analogue of the defence Ramstein format,” First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko said during a meeting with Heather McPherson, Member of Parliament of Canada.
According to Oleh Bondar, Head of Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Humanitarian Demining Directorate of the Emergency Response Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, almost half of Ukraine’s territory has been contaminated with landmines and explosive objects as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Currently, the potentially dangerous territory has been reduced from 300,000 sq km to 185,000 sq km. However, the situation is complicated by the constant shelling of territories in the directions of Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Odesa, Sumy, and Mykolaiv regions.
It is reported that the pollution of Ukraine’s rivers, water bodies, reservoirs, coastal waters of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, hydrotechnical structures, and seaports is also a significant problem. About 16,000 sq km of water areas in Ukraine are potentially contaminated with explosive objects.
In total, since 24 February 2022, 192,230 explosive objects, including 2,106 aerial bombs, have been identified, removed, and disposed of. A total of 48,630 ha of agricultural land in the de-occupied territories of Ukraine were inspected.