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The war between Ukraine and Russia, now in its 20th month, has led to the loss of over 260 Ukrainian civilians to landmines and other war-related explosives, as reported by Ukraine’s military.
The General Staff disclosed that the extent of this is broad, with nearly 174,000 sq km, or one-third of Ukraine’s territory, being potentially riddled with hazardous war remnants. Alongside the fatalities, at least 571 individuals have been injured in over 560 incidents linked to mines or explosives left behind by the conflict.
Interestingly, fields have become significant danger zones, accounting for about a quarter of the reported incidents. This comes after a recent incident where two men were injured in the southern Mykolaiv region after a tractor they were on struck an explosive. Detailing the incident, the Interior Ministry mentioned, “One of them had two legs amputated, the other refused to be taken to hospital after being examined.”
Following the statistics release, Ukrainian officials called for mine-clearing devices for the country. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, in an interview with Suspilne media, emphasized the shortfall of sappers (military demolitions), noting that while 3,000 specialists are currently working, an additional 7,000 are required to thoroughly clear mined territories. Ukraine estimates it will cost roughly $ 37 billion to clear the country of mines.