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More than 260 Ukrainian civilians killed by landmines since start of full-scale invasion

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 1, 2023 10:29 PM 2 min read
A view of a landmine area in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on July 10, 2023. (Gian Marco Benedetto/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Landmines and other explosive devices have killed 264 civilians in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Telegram Nov. 1.

The number of those killed includes at least 14 children, according to a separate report by the State Emergency Services on Oct. 23.

In total, 571 people have been injured in more than 560 separate accidents involving landmines, the General Staff said.

Of all the incidents with landmines, 145 took place in fields, making it the most common location for an accident. The second-most common location was roads, with 125 incidents.

A 14-year-old boy was killed and a 12-year-old boy was injured by after coming across a mine while playing in a field in Mykolaiv Oblast on Oct. 15, while an explosive device killed two men in a field in Kharkiv Oblast on Oct. 11.

Another 117 incidents took place in yards around houses, followed by forests with 91 incidents. Areas around water, such as reservoirs, accounted for 30 incidents with mines.

Civilians have also been injured by explosive decides found indoors, with 53 incidents taking place in rooms.

"Explosive objects can also be disguised as ordinary household items, for example, a toy or a book," the State Emergency Service said.

The General Staff warned people not to touch or come near devices that they think might be explosive devices and to not ignore signs warning of danger of mines.

The authorities regularly spread awareness campaign around mines, which cover nearly one-third of Ukraine's territory, equivalent to an area twice the size of Austria.

Their presence is a threat to around 6 million Ukrainians, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Oct. 9.

Ukraine's Education Ministry announced in August that it would introduce mine safety courses for Ukrainian schoolchildren as a mandatory part of the curriculum.

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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