Danger UXB: demining experts in Ukraine operate in the most mined place on earth
A lethal legacy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a landscape littered with the deadly detritus of war.
According to the think tank GLOBSEC, thirty per cent of Ukraine's territory has been exposed to intense combat operations. That equates to 174,000 km2, an area that is more than twice the size of Austria.
In just over a year, Ukraine has climbed to the top of a grisly league table, surpassing war-torn countries including Afghanistan and Syria to become the most mined place on earth.
The battle to clear their homeland of mines and unexploded bombs has already begun. It is a campaign that will continue long after the last guns have fallen silent.
Cambodian demining experts train Ukrainians how to clear Russian mines
“There are thousands of these ammunitions and each one must be neutralised separately,” explains Oleksandr Dvoretskyi, a senior member of Ukraine’s Demining Group.
“Today we will bury at least 70 of them. They mined it specifically so that no one would live on this land for many years.”
Ukraine’s demining specialists have neutralised more than 345,000 explosive objects since the start of the conflict.