Every year on April 4 the world marks the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, established by the UN General Assembly.
Since spring 2014, due to Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, around 16 thousand square kilometers in Luhansk and Donetsk regions have been contaminated with the explosive devices.
The Russian occupation armed formations are actively using this type of inhumane devices on big areas, causing many deaths and mutilations among the civil population, including children. The explosive remnants of war and anti-personnel mines laid down by the enemy, undermine the peaceful life in the liberated territories. Anti-personnel landmines left in the Ukrainian arms depots on the occupied territories, mainly in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, are being transferred by Russia to the terrorists fighting in the east of Ukraine.
The personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine as well as of the Special Transportation Service daily conduct the demining, risking their lives. Only since the beginning of this year, the mine action operators have cleared 453 hectares, checked 65 kilometers of roads and railways, discovered and destroyed 8655 explosive items on the liberated areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
At the same time, Ukraine has not been left alone with the demining problem. Our international partners and donors provide financial and technical assistance in mine action. First of all, we appreciate efforts taken by NATO, OSCE, EU, UNDP, UNICEF, ICRC, by the donor nations – US, Canada, UK, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Slovenia, Denmark, Japan, Estonia and others., as well as the following mine action operators: "The Halo Trust", "DDG" and "FSD".
The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is yet another opportunity to honor the memory of those killed by land mines throughout the world, consolidate the international efforts to better assist the mine victims and strengthen the mine action, as well as to intensify pressure on Russia with the aim of stopping its aggression against Ukraine.