110 million of various mines are strewn on the territory of almost 60 countries around the globe. Ukraine have been leading the world in the number of these explosive devices because of the russian aggression since 2014.
Russia is breaking the international humanitarian law using the mines, as the casualties are mostly civilians. 172 people died in the incidents connected with the explosive objects, 21 of them were kids. 374 people were injured, 45 of them were kids. The mine explosions are causing 35% of such incidents. This was stated by Colonel Yevhenii Zubarevskyi, Deputy Chief of Environmental Security and Mine Action Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
It should be noted that these numbers are officially confirmed and documented. But there are significantly more unidentified cases.
Senior Lieutenant Andrii Rudyk, the representative of the Captured and Advanced Weapons and Military Equipment Research Center of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reported that russians were massively and chaotically mining open areas and civil infrastructure with mines, as well as improvised explosive devices. The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCWC) prohibits the use of such weapons. Russia has undertaken the obligations and still formally have to fulfill them.
Nevertheless, russian soldiers are mining kitchen utensils, toys, food, breaking clauses b, c, e, f, g of Article 7 of the CCWC Amended Potocol II.
“The servicemen of our Center are investigating captured russian mines in order to punish russian war criminals for the aggression against Ukraine,” Senior Lieutenant Andrii Rudyk said.
The production models of russian mines and improvised explosive devices were displayed at the briefing. One of the experts of the Captured and Advanced Weapons and Military Equipment Research Center reported that russians were using different types of mines to hinder the process of demining. Moreover, russia is producing booby traps. These devices are used to mine household appliances, food and even toys.
In fact, the booby trap is not a real weapon. It’s an instrument for terrorism. And it doesn’t show high efficiency on the battle field. But it does kill a lot of civilians.
Regrettably, Ukraine will need a great deal of specialists, resources, help from allies and time to minimize the danger that russia has created.
The representatives of the Captured and Advanced Weapons and Military Equipment Research Center recommend to follow few simple rules:
- You have to be especially careful, primarily on the territories where the hostilities have been conducted. Be cautious even in your own home, going back after the evacuation.
- Do not come close to different objects (gadgets, toys, weapons or ammunition, etc.), if you accidentally find it.
- If you find an explosive device, do not come close or touch it and everything around. Russia also uses cluster munition. So mines can be set automatically, in the number of few to few dozen pieces.
- Do not try to defuse it by yourself. It can be equipped with various detonation mechanisms (from light, sound, vibrations, pressure, etc.). Some of them can be self-destructive. So leave the area the same way you have come, mark the place and inform the police or the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
- Follow the rules and call the professionals, if you have the slightest doubt or suspicion. Any unprepared person may not detect the device, even if it’s not hidden. It may not differ from toys or common mechanisms.
Author: Volodymyr Patola