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174,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory are contaminated by Russian mines – Zelenskyy

The international partners’ assistance in demining is of great importance for Ukraine’s future recovery, the President of Ukraine emphasized during a working visit to Switzerland on January 15, 2024.

Mines and unexploded missiles next to a destroyed bridge on the way to Kherson.
By Wojciech Grzedzinski for The Washington Post

“Currently, 174,000 square kilometers of our [Ukrainian – ed.] territory are contaminated by Russian mines and unexploded ammunition. And it would be very difficult for any country in the world to cope with this task alone,” stated President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint press conference with the President of Switzerland, Viola Amherd.

According to Zelenskyy, partner states have been helping Ukraine to deal with the demining issue. Switzerland is among these countries, and holding two conferences on demining in the spring and fall of 2024 was discussed with the Swiss government.

The President of Switzerland added that the key issue of Ukraine’s recovery is demining and reminded that in September 2023, the Federal Council declared humanitarian demining a priority in support of Ukraine and approved a four-year aid package of 100 million francs (116,22 million dollars).

In addition, during her meeting with Zelenskyy, Viola Amherd announced plans to allocate 1,5 billion francs (1,74 billion dollars) to Ukraine as part of the international cooperation strategy from 2025 to 2028.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 466,992 pieces of enemy explosive ordnance and 2,892 kg of explosives, including 3,153 air bombs, have been disposed of. As the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported, the Ukrainian sappers have surveyed the territory with an area of about 1,142 square kilometers.

As of January 2024, at least 277 Ukrainian citizens were killed and 610 more injured by Russian explosive objects. There are 14 children among the victims, as Ihor Klymenko, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, informed.