12:23 14 Jun 2024

United to win: EU sends third group of sapper dogs to aid Ukraine

European Commission's Representative Office in Warsaw

The European Commission is scheduled to deliver a third batch of 12 demining dogs to assist with clearing landmines in Ukraine. The official handover ceremony to the Ukrainian authorities will be held on June 14 in the southern Polish town of Nowy Sacz.

According to Ukrinform, the representative office of the European Commission in Poland reported that.

What is the problem?

According to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Ihor Klymenko, as of the beginning of April, about 25% of the territory of Ukraine was contaminated with explosive objects. The regions liberated from the invaders remain the most densely mined.

During the war, dogs work alongside humans on equal footing. These four-legged helpers assist sappers in detecting mines, improvised explosive devices, projectiles, and unexploded rockets – essentially any deadly equipment left behind by the Russian army on Ukrainian soil.

What is the solution?

Therefore, the European Commission will be providing Kyiv with a team of 12 demining dogs in order to clear Ukraine's territory.

As mentioned in the office, this will be the third and largest group of dogs trained under the project of the European Commission's Directorate General for Migration and Internal Affairs, in collaboration with the EU Foreign Policy Instruments Service.

How does it work?

"On June 14, at the Lososina Dolna airfield near Nowy Sacz, there will be a ceremonial handover of 12 more dogs that were trained in Belgium, Poland, Italy, Malta, Luxembourg and Finland. The dogs will be sent to serve in Ukraine," the European Commission's representative office in the Republic of Poland informed.

In Poland, the dogs went through a two-week training course at a base near the Carpathian border detachment of Poland. This gave the Ukrainian dog handlers a chance to familiarize themselves with their new assigned dogs.

As part of the dog handover ceremony, there will be a presentation of the dogs' ability to detect explosives, as well as their symbolic handover to the new Ukrainian guardians.

The following representatives will take part in the event, in particular:

  • director of the Directorate General of the European Commission for Migration and Internal Affairs and the Service for EU Foreign Policy Instruments of the European Commission, Martin Scheifer,
  • Mykhailo Kuzmenko, commander of the engineering and sapper battalion of Ukraine's armed forces,
  • Commander of the Carpathian border detachment of Poland, Adam Jopek.

The estimated budget of this project, which will last until 2025, is 3 million euros.

In total, the European Commission will provide Ukraine with 50 specially trained sniffer dogs. The first group of nine sapper dogs was already handed over to Ukraine in March of last year, the second group of nine dogs was handed over last year in November.

For reference:

It's worth mentioning that the EU plans to transfer sapper dogs to Ukraine in three more stages before the end of 2025.

Moreover, with the assistance of the Howard Buffett Foundation, the police of the Kyiv region received 11 service dogs that underwent training in the Netherlands.

With the assistance of four-legged partners, law enforcement personnel will be able to detect illicit transportation and storage of explosives, weapons, and ammunition, as well as aid in demining operations.

In addition, Rubryka also reported that European partners have provided the National Police of Ukraine with 16 new trailers, specially designed for transporting service dogs. These trailers will greatly assist the police in carrying out their duties in recently deoccupied and war-affected areas.

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