Landmines Scattered Across Ukraine’s Regions Amid Ongoing Russian War

Ukraine is now one of the world’s most mined nations since Russia’s full-scale invasion started two years ago. Eleven out of twenty-seven areas in Ukraine have been found to contain landmines, which are causing severe harm to the agricultural sector of the economy and injuring or murdering innocent people.

Smith and Ukrainian officials report that over a thousand civilians have been injured or killed in Ukraine due to landmines since 2022. They are planted in fields and farms to detonate tanks and other heavy vehicles. But when the fighting stops, these mines won’t be able to tell the difference between a tank shooting rounds and a combine reaping crops.

Hrakove, a little agricultural community near Izium in the Kharkiv area, was formerly controlled by Russian soldiers. There, farmers are shut off from their fields by rows and rows of anti-vehicle mines, which were probably laid by Russian mine-laying machines. The think tank GLOBSEC, located in Bratislava, estimates that over 15% of Ukraine’s farmland is either mined or polluted with unexploded ordnance. As a result, farmers in the country have had to reduce the size of their agricultural plantings or perhaps abandon them altogether.

There are also many antipersonnel mines in Ukraine. These mines hurt people, not cars. Although they may only weigh a few ounces, the damage they do is long-lasting. Even a little kid walking on one may set it off. Because of their delicate appearance as they fall from the sky, this kind of mine is aptly called a “butterfly” or “petal” mine.

Ukraine is one of 164 countries that have joined the Mine Ban Treaty, an international agreement banning anti-personnel mines. The US and Russia have not signed on, along with over 30 other nations. Since their invasion two years ago, Russian soldiers have used thirteen different kinds of anti-personnel mines in Ukraine.

According to a report from Human Rights Watch, the Ukrainian military allegedly used anti-personnel mines during the Russian occupation of Izium as part of their efforts to impede Russian forces.

Meanwhile, Russian-planted explosives have hampered Ukrainian efforts to retake land, killed soldiers, and destroyed tanks. The process of clearing these mines is laborious and dangerous.

“Humanitarian demining” is the work that groups like HALO do. One thousand deminers from every socioeconomic group in the nation are the backbone of the clearing of mines in Ukraine.

Women make up around 30% of HALO’s demining crew.