It will take years to clear Ukraine of Russian landmines and IEDs, Zelenskyy says

9 December 2022, 01:16 AM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:presidential press service)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:presidential press service)

Invading Russian troops have mined 170,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his Dec. 8 evening address.

“The terrorists are deliberately trying to leave behind more death traps, such as buried land mines, booby traps, mined buildings, cars, and infrastructure…,” said Zelenskyy.

“We are talking about more than 170,000 square kilometers of hazardous territory."

Zelenskyy noted that Ukraine will have to deal with the explosive hazard for years to come, adding that it will a matter of Russia’s accountability in potential future international tribunals.

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“This ‘terror’ is even more cruel and vile than a missile one, because there is no such anti-mine system that could neutralize the threat, as our air defense does (with air strikes),” the president said.

He also posthumously awarded four policemen who died from Russian mines in Kherson Oblast on Dec. 7.

The Hero of Ukraine title was awarded to Police Colonel Mykhailo Kuratchenko, while medals For Courage were awarded to police captains Ihor Melnyk and Serhiy Nenada, as well as police corporal Vadim Perizhko.

“They did everything for the safety of Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said about the police officers.

“One their way back from seizing weapons and ammunition from the storage that invaders left behind in Kherson Oblast, they fell prey to a mine trap.”

On Dec. 7, a Ukrainian police squad triggered a chain of landmine explosions in Kherson Oblast, which claimed the lives of four officers.

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