Since the spring of 2014, about 16,000 square kilometres of the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions have been contaminated with explosives due to the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine.

Russian-occupation forces are actively using this type of inhumane weapon in large areas, leading to numerous deaths and injuries among civilians, including children. Explosive remnants of hostilities and anti-personnel mines planted by the enemy hinder the establishment of peaceful life in the liberated territories. Russia supplies anti-personnel mines, stored in Ukraine’s ammunition depots in the occupied territories, primarily in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to terrorists fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and the State Special Transport Service of Ukraine risk their lives on a daily basis while removing mines. Since the beginning of this year alone, mine action operators have cleared 453 hectares in the liberated territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, inspected more than 65 km of roads and railways, and identified and disposed of 8,655 explosive devices. At the same time, Ukraine is not left alone with the problem. Our international partners and donors provide financial and technical assistance in mine action. These are primarily international organisations (NATO, OSCE, EU, UNDP, UNICEF, Red Cross), donor countries (the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Slovenia, Denmark, Japan, Estonia), and such companies as Halo Trust, DDG, and FSD.

Natalia Tolub

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