NewsUkrainian's 757-year struggle against Russian "gifts"

Ukrainian's 757‑year struggle against Russian "gifts"

Ukrainian sappers are struggling with the number of mines left by the Russians.
Ukrainian sappers are struggling with the number of mines left by the Russians.
Images source: © Getty Images | Global Images Ukraine
8:44 AM EDT, November 3, 2023

Ukraine, one of the most heavily mined countries globally, grapples with large swathes of dangerous land littered with explosives left by the Russians. With continuous combat and new minefields and traps set by the troops of Vladimir Putin, experts contend it may take Ukraine up to 757 years to eradicate this menace.

Wherever Putin's forces were stationed, they've inflicted devastation and death. They've also left an enduring problem for both the Ukrainian Armed Forces and civilians: minefields, existing in greater numbers than anywhere else globally.

Globsec project experts estimate that, given the current effort and explosive removal rate, demining Ukrainian territories could take up to 757 years. This exemplifies the extraordinary number of traps and minefields that Russians have left behind.

It should be noted that the data collected by analysts pertain only to liberated areas. The situation is possibly as dire - if not worse - in occupied areas prone to ongoing hostilities.

Arguably, circumstances could be more dangerous, considering the thousands of mines the Russians have deployed while building their defenses at the frontline. Consequently, the Ukrainian counter-offensive this summer was significantly hampered, halting the liberating forces of Kyiv that launched their campaign in early June. These minefields have been a lethal snare for soldiers and vehicles alike.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine struggled for a significant period to identify ways to bypass and demine the trap-laden territories. With one danger zone averted, there are others equally hazardous. The painstaking cleanup following the aggression is far from over, and a total tally will likely only emerge after the fighting ceases.

Thus far, it's reported that 264 Ukrainian civilians have died on minefields with over eight hundred more enduring severe injuries and lifelong disfigurement.

Ukraine grapples with a shortage of tools for counteracting minefields, particularly heavier ones. The most critical shortage is manpower, with deminers frequently injured in battle or lost to the war against Russia. Skill and experience are vital to removing explosive charges, and the sheer volume implies that future generations will bear the war's repercussions.

However, as grim as it may sound, current priorities surpass mine removal. The focus lies on resisting the Russians, surviving the winter, and pushing the frontline further east come spring. This will continue until the total eviction of the aggressors from the country. The struggle is fierce and unyielding, and deminers work tirelessly, even in areas where the warzone is no longer active.

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