Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Report: More than 40% of Ukraine Is Now Mined

Report: More than 40% of Ukraine Is Now Mined

Sunday, 29 January, 2023 - 11:30
Military sappers inspect an area for mines and non-exploded shells left after Russia's invasion in Kyiv Region, Ukraine April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Mykola Tymchenko/File Photo

Since war broke out in Ukraine, its landscape has been riddled with landmines, posing a deadly threat to civilians that will persist long after the war ends.

With more than 40% of the country contaminated with mines by one estimate, Ukraine is believed to now be the most mined country in the world, according to Sky News.

"Contamination is massive," Kateryna Templeton from the Mines Advisory Group tells Sky News.

"It's not even comparable, I would say, to Syria or Afghanistan. It's really massive."

A broad spectrum of mines have been deployed in Ukraine including some that had never been seen in combat before, she added

International law prohibits and restricts the use of various mines, particularly those designed to target people.

Russian forces have been accused by Human Rights Watch of using banned anti-personnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region.

According to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), in the six years between 2014 and 2020 there were 1,190 mine-related casualties in Ukraine.

Between 24 February, 2022 and 10 January, 2023 - less than one year - there have been 611 known mine-related casualties.

As well as directly causing injury and death, mines can render swathes of land inaccessible or more dangerous.

Agricultural production is reportedly being affected by the use of landmines in fields and on rural paths and roads.

Editor Picks