Equal to three areas of Croatia: PM tells how much Ukrainian territory is potentially mined
The Prime Minister of Ukraine said that 30% of Ukraine's territory - 174,000 square kilometres - is considered potentially mined: this is equal to three times the area of Croatia
Shmyhal said this during an online speech at the International Donor Conference on Mine Action in Ukraine, which is taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, the Government Portal reports.
The Prime Minister stressed that for Ukraine, the "mine war" is also a manifestation of the genocide committed by the Russian forces. More than 6 million people are in the zone of potential danger.
"Russian enemy is mining roads, forests, agricultural land, schools, kindergartens and hospitals, playgrounds, and residential buildings. Almost 250 people have been killed by explosive devices and about 500 others have been injured. And the number of victims is growing every day," said Shmyhal.
He reminded that the World Bank estimates the full range of humanitarian demining works at more than $37 billion. Ukraine currently has 3,000 sappers and 29 mechanised vehicles for demining. According to Shmyhal, this will not be enough.
"That is why we have identified humanitarian demining as a priority and started creating an international demining coalition. Already, 40 countries and partner organisations have agreed to allocate about $300 million for special equipment and other purposes. But we need even greater mobilisation of the international community's efforts," the Prime Minister stressed.
Shmyhal outlined four areas in which Ukraine needs the most support: innovative technologies, new production facilities with localisation in Ukraine, demining equipment and specialists. He called on all countries and organisations with experience in demining to join in the clearance of Ukrainian territory.
"Mine clearance in Ukraine is a global project, an investment in the security of Europe, a guarantee of peace for future generations," the Prime Minister stressed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the agro-industrial company Kernel launched the project to collect honey from mined fields and involve even more international partners in demining. The technical component of the project is to use drones to sow an area that has not been demined with a mixture of honey-bearing grasses from which bees can collect nectar.