About 6 million people in Ukraine are exposed to the threat of mines – Ukrainian Prime Minister
As of October 2023, nearly 250 people have been killed by Russian mines in Ukraine, and over 500 people have been injured due to enemy explosive items.
“If we do nothing or use standard technologies, then 9,000 more people will be injured or killed by mines in Ukraine,” stated Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Prime Minister reported that potentially mined areas in Ukraine still cover 174,000 square kilometers, and clearing these territories will require spending over 37 billion dollars.
“Russia leaves behind a deadly legacy. Mines are a weapon of war that remains active long after the occupation, after the war (…) Unfortunately, the enemy deliberately mines our cities and villages, our territories, forests, and fields to inflict losses not only on the military but also on thousands of civilians,” stated Shmyhal during the Demine Ukraine Forum.
He also added that the demining process is extremely difficult because Russian troops leave behind a huge number of various explosive items that metal detectors cannot detect.
“We have already seen after the de-occupation of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions, how the enemy mines houses, children’s playgrounds, children’s toys, furniture. They just mine everything to cause as much damage and harm to Ukrainians as possible,” recalled the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
An active demining of liberated territories is currently ongoing. In particular, approximately 18,000 square kilometers of infrastructure have already been cleared of mines, and over 12,000 homes of Ukrainian citizens have been checked for explosive threats.
“A plan for clearing agricultural land is being implemented. Over 200,000 hectares (2,000 square kilometers) out of the 470,000 (4,700) identified as priorities have already been surveyed. Approximately 120,000 hectares (1,200 square kilometers) can be used again for cultivation. In this matter, not only the state but also businesses are involved,” emphasized Shmyhal.
In total, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, 440,537 pieces of enemy explosive ordnance and 2,892 kg of explosives, including 3,103 air bombs, have been disposed of. As the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reports, the territory with an area of about 101,511 hectares (1015,11 square kilometers) has been surveyed.