International team of 1,000 sappers helping to demine Ukrainian territory

9 December 2022, 05:04 PM
Due to the actions of Russia, 30% of the territory of Ukraine has been mined (Photo:Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Due to the actions of Russia, 30% of the territory of Ukraine has been mined (Photo:Murad Sezer/Reuters)

An international team of about 1,000 sappers is helping to clear Ukrainian territory of landmines, Deputy Interior Minister Meri Akopyan said at a briefing on Dec. 9.

"Up to 1,000 sappers come from abroad to be engaged in demining operations in Ukraine,” Akopyan said.

“There is a huge team, the HALO Trust, of about 800 sappers and pyro technicians from Poland, Switzerland, and Denmark, who work now across Ukraine," she said.

These specialists worked on demining areas in Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia and Iran, Akopyan added.

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The deputy minister said the team has said they have never experienced such cunning and cynical ways of mining before.

"An anti-tank mine is placed on an anti-personnel mine and it is camouflaged. As they started working with an anti-tank mine, an anti-personnel mine exploded under it," she gave an example.

"They have never seen it before and now foreign pyro technicians are undergoing training on the basis of this," Akopyan continued.

Vast areas of Ukraine have been mined in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The Interior Ministry and State Emergency Service predict that it may take up to 10 years to complete demining, as about 270,000 square kilometers (about 100,000 square miles) have to be demined. This includes the territories currently occupied by Russian invasion forces.

Demining work is going on every day in Ukrainian-controlled areas.

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