Anastasia Pechenyuk22:17, 07/22/233 min.553
During a year and a half of the war, mines, along with bombs and artillery and other unexploded shells, polluted the territory of Ukraine, comparable in area to the American state of Florida or the American country of Uruguay.
Demining could take hundreds of years and cost billions of dollars, writes The Washington Post.Russia has heavily mined the front line in anticipation of an ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive and has made heavy use of widely banned anti-personnel mines in the past.
Investigations by Human Rights Watch found that Russian troops used at least 13 types of anti-personnel mines, as well as booby traps.According to a recent report by the GLOBSEC analytical center, about 30% of Ukraine, more than 107 thousand square kilometers, are contaminated with explosives.
This makes the country more polluted than the world’s most mined states such as Afghanistan or Syria.
GLOBSEC estimates that one sapper can clear 15 to 25 square meters per day, depending on terrain and concentration of explosives.
Ukraine’s contaminated area is so vast that some experts estimate that the 500 demining teams now working will take 757 years to complete. In addition, demining is not only a slow but also an expensive process.
The World Bank estimates that demining Ukraine costs between $2 and $8 per square meter and will cost about $37.4 billion over the next 10 years. This year alone, the United States allocated $95 million to Ukraine for mine clearance. Explosives have already caused significant losses.
From the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 to July 2023, the United Nations recorded 298 civilian deaths from explosive ordnance (22 dead children), 632 civilians were injured.
The international demining organization HALO Trust has recorded over 2,300 munitions incidents requiring clearance, and these figures are significantly underestimated.