Seven teenagers aged 14-17 received shrapnel wounds after the PFM anti-personnel landmine exploded in Izium, southeast of Kharkiv, at around 8 p.m. on Feb. 3, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported.
“One of the teenagers picked it up from the ground and threw it next to the others. The mine detonated,” Syniehubov said, adding that five teenagers were hospitalized.
On Jan. 31, Human Rights Watch called on Ukraine to investigate the military’s alleged use of rocket-fired anti-personnel landmines in and around the city of Izium during the Russian occupation.
The organization claims it has documented nine uses of PFM anti-personnel mines, which were fired into formerly Russian-controlled territories in Izium, suggesting that the Ukrainian military did it. Ukraine is part of the 1997 Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention, which prohibits using such weapons.
Meanwhile, during the occupation, Russian forces shelled both the Ukrainian military and civilians from Izium.
The Human Rights Watch previously published reports of Russia's widespread use of prohibited weapons.
"Russian forces have used antipersonnel mines in multiple areas across Ukraine, including victim-activated booby traps, since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022," the report reads.
According to Serhii Kruk, who heads Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, about 30% of Ukrainian territory is mined due to Russia’s full-scale war, equal to twice the area of Austria.
President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier said that Russia’s “mine terror” will have to be resisted for many years.