KYIV (QHA) -

Ukraine is one of the countries in the world most contaminated with mines and explosive objects, said Maksim Komissarov, the Head of the department for environmental safety and mine action of Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

According to him, 16 thousand square kilometres of the territory of Ukraine are stuffed with mines, and exactly the same number must be cleared by Ukrainian sappers.

Since the beginning of hostilities in the Donbas, about 26,000 hectares of land have been surveyed and more than 340 thousand explosive items destroyed.

“Since the beginning of the aggression of the Russian Federation in the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, significant areas have been contaminated with mines and explosive remnants of war. According to preliminary estimates, the area of such areas is about 7 thousand square kilometres in the controlled area and approximately 9 thousand square kilometres in the occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” Komissarov noted.

Meanwhile, mines play a cruel joke with the Russian invaders as well. So, on February 18, near the advanced positions of the ATO forces on the Svetlodarskaya arc, two militants of the 7 separate motorized rifle brigade of the Russian-occupation forces blew themselves up on their own mine-blasting fences.

And on January 13-14, during the attempt to transfer the sites of their own mine-blasting fences in Mariupol and Bakhmut directions, subversive and reconnaissance groups of militants were blown up.

QHA