13:23 05 Apr 2024

Explosives and ammunition contamination plagues nearly a quarter of Ukraine's territory – Minister of Internal Affairs Klymenko

Photo: illustrative picture/ The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces

About 25% of the territory of Ukraine is contaminated with explosive objects; the de-occupied regions remain the most densely mined. During demining, 21 employees of the State Emergency Service were killed, and another 87 pyrotechnicians of the rescue service were injured.

Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko said this in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

"In general, as a result of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, as of now, about 25% of the territory of Ukraine is contaminated with mines and explosive objects," he said.

Klymenko clarified that de-occupied regions remain the most densely mined.

"Actually, stabilization measures there begin precisely with demining. First of all, we clear populated areas to return the authorities there as soon as possible, restore the work of enterprises, and operate critical infrastructure facilities, etc. Agricultural lands are also a priority," the minister explained.

According to Klymenko, the longer the occupation of the settlement by the Russians lasts, the more massive the mining is.

"Unfortunately, 21 employees of the State Emergency Service were killed during demining. Another 87 pyrotechnicians were injured while carrying out the task of demining the territory," he said.

According to the minister, this field of activity already has high risks to life. During work in the de-occupied territories, they increase because the Russians set landmines and use remote mining.

"The enemy's task is to get as many victims as possible among our people. And ours is to save the lives of professionals. That's why we use the latest technologies," Klymenko explained.

The Minister of Internal Affairs stated they will utilize mechanized demining machines, drones to survey potentially contaminated areas, and space photographs.

"This helps in understanding the overall picture. We are not only talking about open land plots. Forests and rivers can also be mined, and we need to work there," he said.

For reference:

In August 2023, a team of specialists from Kharkiv successfully developed and certified the first soil preparation machine for demining in Ukraine. This breakthrough allowed for mass production and use of the machine in mineaffected areas. This equipment is highly efficient in neutralizing anti-personnel and detecting anti-tank mines.

In October 2023, Ukraine announced that it was testing the ST1 autonomous demining drone, a device that has the potential to greatly expedite and improve the demining process. On average, it operates four times faster than a human.

The third model of a domestic demining machine, which is not inferior to the best Western analogs, was presented in Ukraine on February 22, 2023.

In addition, in the Mykolaiv region, JV Southern Agricultural Export Company engineers have developed and launched a remote-controlled tractor that safely clears agricultural land of landmines.


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