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International donors pledge up to $530 million to Ukraine in demining assistance

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 11, 2023 7:17 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian deminer uses the remote system of a mine trawl to clear a field of landmines laid by Russian troops near the city of Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast, on May 19, 2023. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)
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Participants of the International Donor Conference on Humanitarian Demining in Ukraine pledged almost 500 million euros ($530 million) to Kyiv in demining assistance, the Croatian news agency HINA reported on Oct. 11, citing Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic.

The two-day conference that started in Zagreb on Oct. 11 serves as a platform for Kyiv's partners to mobilize resources for Ukraine's recovery efforts with a particular focus on humanitarian demining.

On Oct. 10, Croatia signed a bilateral agreement with Ukraine on joint demining operations in the war-torn country.

Specifics of the agreement included the transfer of technical expertise and special safety equipment, as well as educational programs for civilians and capability development.

Croatia has also disbursed over $1 million for demining operations in Ukraine.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on March 1 that nearly one-third of Ukraine's territory had been mined since the start of the full-scale invasion.

According to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, 250 people have been killed by mines in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale war, and over 500 have been injured or maimed.

The State Emergency Service earlier reported that after the end of the war, Ukraine would need at least 10 years to demine its territory.

Russia is covering Ukraine with landmines. Clearing them will be extremely difficult
In March 2022 right after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, a cell phone video apparently taken by a Russian soldier captured two “Zemledeliye” mobile mine-laying systems thought to be stationed in Kharkiv Oblast. Positioned against a drab backdrop of what was once farmland, the “Zemledeli…

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