According to the current assessment, the country will need at least 10 years to free the ground in war-affected regions of Ukraine from mines.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mary Hakobyan said the plan to remove all remaining landmines within 10 years is an “ambitious” plan. It is highly possible that even more time will be needed to accomplish this task.
How many landmines are there in Ukraine?
Experts predict that approximately 30% of Ukraine’s territory has been contaminated with different kinds of explosive objects. This means that in total around 174 thousand square kilometers are considered to contain active landmines. Some sources say this number may be highly underrated.
“The territory of the contaminated part of Ukraine today equals four territories of Switzerland. This is a vivid illustration of the real situation which we are working with,” Hakobyan commented.
Certainly, this data is not final. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing, but Ukrainian Armed Forces are regaining some regions. Mine clearance specialists are already working there to remove potential threats.
How long will it take to remove all explosives from Ukrainian land?
The preliminary goal is set to remove all remaining landmines and ensure the land is safe within 10 years.
“It seems like a lot, but for this kind of job, it’s very short. The main thing we are working on today is to strengthen our ability to proceed at a fast pace,” Hakobyan said.
The current capabilities of Ukrainian demining teams allow for checking on an average of about 70 hectares of land territory per day.
Since the start of this year’s Russian invasion on February 24, State Emergency Service specialists have neutralized a total of 300 thousand explosive objects, including 2155 aerial bombs.
The National Police also participates in this effort – its specialized demining units have checked 15 thousand hectares, seized 150 thousand explosive objects and neutralized 24 thousand units of dangerous war remnants.
“The dynamics are huge. If we move at such a pace, then in a couple of weeks we will be able to reach a total of 500 thousand neutralized explosive objects,” noted Hakobyan.