Due to military operations, the territory of our country is heavily littered with explosive objects. Demining will take decades and a lot of money.
Mines and bombs – on 30% of the territory
The war continues to collect its victims even in the de-occupied territories. Yesterday in the Kherson region. the tractor was blown up by explosives – one person was killed, the second was injured. According to the information from the Kherson District Police Department, this happened in the village of Zeleny Gay during field work. Residents of the region were reminded that now it is very dangerous to visit those territories that have not yet been examined by sappers. They were advised to refrain from visiting fields, forest belts and other potentially dangerous areas.
And on Saturday in the village of Bilaevka of the same Kherson region. a local resident blew himself up on a mini “petal” in his yard, receiving a laceration to the torso. On the same day, a 37-year-old man died in the village of Chaykovka, Kharkiv region, after stepping on a stretcher while going to the river to go fishing.
Since February 24, 2022, the State Emergency Service has neutralized almost 330,000 explosives, including 2,191 aerial bombs. Remains 174 thousand square meters. km of potentially dangerous territories, which make up 30% of the total area of the country. According to the State Emergency Service, 10 regions are currently in need of demining the most.
Secret mission and mutually beneficial cooperation
At the end of last week, demining of our territory was discussed at the meeting of Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy Yulia Sviridenko, who heads the Interdepartmental Working Group on Humanitarian Demining, with a representative of the Parliament of Canada Heather McPherson. Sviridenko drew attention to the fact that, given the scale of pollution, with the resources available to Ukraine, demining will last 70 years. That is, perhaps under the worst circumstances, three generations of Ukrainians will be engaged in clearing the territory of mines. To solve this problem in a shorter period of time, strong support from international partners is needed – financial, technological, and organizational. In her opinion, in order to synchronize and coordinate efforts to clear the territories, it is necessary to create an analogue of the defense “Rammstein”.
One of the arguments why the world should be interested in the fastest demining of Ukraine is that our country may be forced to reduce the volume of agricultural production due to the contamination of the land with explosive objects.
“This year there may be a drop in agricultural production, because 2.6 million hectares need to be cleared,” Sviridenko stressed in Brussels during a meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU.
The demining program could take many years, she said, but it should be launched now.
“We are an agricultural country. The world depends on us, and at the same time we depend on income. Therefore, we are interested in continuing to export,” the minister said.
It is worth remembering that we are already receiving assistance from abroad. This support is significant, but it does not have a unified coordination. In addition to the EU, countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium are helping us. And recently it became known that for five months, Polish pyrotechnicians have been working on demining the de-occupied territory of Ukraine. This mission was classified because of the possible danger to specialists. There were 98 Polish policemen in Ukraine who had already returned home.
“Together with President Andrzej Duda, I will congratulate and personally thank 98 Polish police officers who have been clearing the territory left by the Russian invaders for several months. Our brave police officers are already in the country,” said Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminsky.
The Wiadomosci publication noted that the decision to send Polish specialists to Ukraine was made after the Ukrainian government turned to the members of the ATLAS group for help. This is a police task force that brings together the special anti-terrorist units of the EU. Only Poland responded to this request, as other countries decided that this task was too dangerous. The Polish Ministry of the Interior has formed a contingent of officers of a separate counter-terrorism police.
“Due to Russian aggression, Ukraine is today one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. Humanitarian demining is the first stage in the restoration of de-occupied territories, which makes it possible to begin the restoration of housing and critical infrastructure. The need for demining is growing as Ukrainian territories are liberated “, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a coordination meeting on humanitarian demining, which took place in early February this year.
The meeting decided to establish a state institution “Ukrainian Center for Humanitarian Demining”, which will act as a secretariat and an analytical center, collect and summarize information on the needs of demining in the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Emergency Service, regional military administrations, and also receive data from partner countries and international organizations.
The gradual restoration of a safe space in Ukraine is already underway.
“Today we have three main clusters that will determine the security of our citizens. We mean areas that were not under occupation – the so-called rear, where there is a lot of people who moved from the south and east of our country. There are also regions , which have been under enemy occupation for a long time and where operational and humanitarian demining, stabilization measures and enhanced work of law enforcement structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are now taking place. And those territories that have been under occupation for 9 years are part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea “, – Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Klymenko said on the air of the National Telethon.
He noted that all citizens in all territories of our state should be safe.
“30% of the territory needs to be cleared of mines right now, which is what we are doing. But we are talking about humanitarian demining, that is, huge work to clear agricultural land, residential buildings, office buildings, etc. For example, there is a huge territory of our state, in in particular, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mykolaiv regions, where there are no active hostilities, but they are constantly shelled at 15-20 km every day. Now winter is over and mine clearance will go faster,” the minister said.
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