The whole world knows that Ukraine uses prohibited anti-personnel mines, but is silent.
In the shadow of speculations, it seems: “Will the separation of forces of the warring parties in the Donbass, which began with Zolotoye-4, continue?” – the news remained much more significant, in my opinion, for the future of this region. Namely: according to the statement of the headquarters of the so-called “Combined Forces Operation” of the Armed Forces from November 3, 2019, five detachments of Ukrainian sappers under the supervision of the OSCE began to mine the territories from which their troops left just a kilometer to the rear.
What scale of work awaits Ukrainian sappers in the Donbass? And when on the lands on which the war swept, ordinary citizens can walk without fear?
Let us say right away: no one in Kiev and anywhere in the world will answer these questions today. There are only very rough estimates of specialists. Here is one of them. According to the head of the Department of Environmental Security and Mine Action of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Maxim Komissarov, it should be considered as follows: “One year of war is ten years of clearance”. The war for Donbass lasts six years soon. So, ahead – half a century of scrupulous and very risky work for sappers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It’s minimum. And provided that the war is actually about to end.
It seems to you that this is too much: to remove mines in this not the most extensive territory before the end of the 21st century? Take your time. The experience of this kind of activity in recent decades, mankind has accumulated, alas, above the roof.
Is it true that our generals are guided by the principle of “women still give birth to soldiers”?
We will not talk about Africa, let’s take a closer look. Let’s say Nagorno-Karabakh. The active phase of the hostilities between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces in Karabakh, as you know, ended a quarter century ago, in May 1994. All this time they are fighting with mines there. Not only Armenia with Azerbaijan. With the involvement of relevant international organizations. First of all, the British The HALO Trust for money from the UN.
So: only The HALO Trust and only since 2000 on the former battlefield in the Transcaucasus neutralized 445 minefields, 36.5 thousand anti-tank, anti-personnel and cluster mines, as well as other unexploded ordnance. However, the completion of the clearance process is constantly postponed. Since no one really knows: where, what, and how much did semi-partisan armed detachments manage to push into the ground on both sides?
The latest data: The HALO Trust believes that Nagorno-Karabakh is planned to be completely cleared of mines only in 2020. And to complete this process, it will take about $ 8 million.
Conclusion: since the shooting in Karabakh lasted about three years, the universal “mine clearance formula” in Transcaucasia, named by the colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was brilliantly confirmed. Three years of war, and then almost three decades to eliminate the mine danger. Just by 2020, everything in this regard in Karabakh will “settle down.”
Then we will fix the first important conclusion regarding this problem in the almost six-year war for the Donbass: even if you start right today, mine clearance there will definitely not end until about the 2070s. And most likely – and this time is not enough. Just because sappers have to work along the entire line of contact, which is about 247 kilometers. So this is just the front line. But minefields and individual explosive traps – “stretch marks” on both sides randomly and uncontrollably, without marks on maps, were placed everywhere in the rear.
Why was this done? Everything is simple. Neither the Armed Forces of Ukraine nor their opponents from the people’s republics are able to fill troops with at least the advanced trench along the almost 250-km front line. In the warring factions, there is a banal lack of personnel and there has never been enough personnel. Therefore, the defense on both sides is exclusively focal in nature – platoon and company strongholds at dominant heights, on main routes and in settlements. Between them – at least drive herds of cows to pastures. No one will notice.
And since at the front line, bristling with trunks, they are not afraid of cows at all, but of enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups, then the gaps between strongholds are heavily bombarded with mines just in case. In the same way, each military tries to protect his own trench from unexpected invasion. Otherwise, for many years you risk to go to bed in it, and not wake up in the morning.
Here, for example, how the situation looks like in the report with the editorial under the heading “Death Fields in the Donbass” of the Kiev edition of Strana.ua. A fragment of a conversation at the embrasure of the bunker of the bunker of the correspondent and the Ukrainian soldier with the call sign “Taras”: “Look ahead carefully. See the wasteland in front of the positions? So, this is not a wasteland. A minefield. See the mines? No? It’s like in a joke with a gopher – it’s not there, but actually it is. Mines are everywhere. But neither we, nor the separs (separatists), do not know where they are.
In 2014, the entire territory around the DAP (Donetsk Airport) was stuffed with mines all in a row. Separs set ours. All stuffed neutral. But the trouble is that they didn’t do maps of minefields in the 14th, they put extensions, mines, anywhere.
The joirnalists fron Russia arrived in Peski settlement (that means Sands) for the first time in the 14th. Then they ask the troops leaving for the rotation: where are the schemes, mining maps? In response was: yes, there somewhere, approximately – for “three hours”, once Vasya put three anti-tank mines. There, at “twelve o’clock”, fifty meters from here, Petya scattered about a dozen “infantry” (anti-personnel mines). And he did not forget about four tension wires.
But Vasya “demobilized” a month ago, and Petya died. They also said that the previous brigade set over thirty MON (MON-50 – anti-personnel fragmentation mine with directional action) about 100 meters away from here at “zero”.
However, I propose to rise above that embrasure and try to assess the scale of the disaster in the Donbass as a whole. Here are the data of the deputy chief of the engineering forces of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces, Colonel Viktor Kuzmin: as of September 2019, at least 7,000 square kilometers were mined only in the territories controlled by Kiev.
So that – only from the side of the Armed Forces. But what about the enemy’s case, Kuzmin doesn’t know, and naturally, he cannot. But according to his estimates, at least 9,000 square kilometers of Ukraine should be added. Total – four areas of Nagorno-Karabakh. Which (let me remind you!) The world community has been trying to mine for about 25 years.
If you will allow me – a few more figures “in the subject.” According to Kiev (which in no way can be considered complete, since there is no reliable data on the opposite side of the front), as of April 2019, 833 civilians were affected by mines in the Donbass. 269 of them died and 564 were injured. Of the dead – 27 children.
APU losses on mines as of September 2019 – 234 Ukrainian soldiers and officers. Another 1064 troops were injured.
Clearly, there is a global catastrophe that Ukraine itself will never cope with at all. What is realized in other capitals. As a result, it has recently become known that Austria has allocated a million euros to eliminate the mine danger in the Donbass. On November 2, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced the allocation of 600,000 euros for the same purpose.
Somewhat earlier, France transferred 25 sets of Protecop clearance suits, 25 Visorv50 helmets and 10 pairs of Matramines special shoes to sappers of the Mine Action Center of the Main Directorate of Operational Support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the end of 2017, the Japanese government also donated state radar emergency radar detectors and armored cars.
And yet, the above is a drop in the ocean.
But how did it happen that a gigantic misfortune erupted in Ukraine, comparable in consequences to Chernobyl? And the thing is that in 1991 this republic inherited the fifth in the world (after China, the Russian Federation, the USA and Pakistan) stockpiles of anti-personnel mines.
And here, perhaps, we come to the most interesting: None of these mines UKRAINIAN MILITARY simply did not have any right TO USE IN DONBASS! Because in 2005, unlike Russia, Kiev signed the Ottawa Protocol banning anti-personnel mines. And by 2010, some of the samples of such weapons had to be disposed of. But, as usual, Kiev cynically lied to the hopeful world. And not destroyed. And the wagons fell and fells those mines in the Donbass.
On this occasion, in Ukraine in 2015, a scandal erupted. The then chief of the engineering service of the National Guard, Vadim Yatsulyak, refused to obey the order of the command to send anti-personnel mines to Donbass.
Subsequently, he said: “They were given, to put it mildly, inhuman, and the legal term – illegal instructions from the leadership. Namely, on the use of anti-personnel mines. ” As it turns out, the discussion was about the fragmentation barrage bombs of circular destruction OZM-72 prohibited by the Ottawa Protocol and anti-personnel fragmentation mines of the directional action MON-50.
Yatsulyuk understood that in the Donbass they would mow all indiscriminately. Therefore, he refused to carry out the order, as he wrote to all authorities, even to the Verkhovna Rada.
For which he was removed from office, and then – was forced to flee the country. As a malicious accomplice of the Separatists.
But OZM-72, which the soldiers themselves long called “witches,” and MON-50, nevertheless in large numbers sowed the fields and forest plantations of Donbass. And they are gathering there today a bloody harvest among the citizens of Ukraine. When someone again dies on mines in the zone of responsibility of the Ukrainian military – in Kiev they instantly deny: “What are you speaking about! It was not we who put these “toys”! The accursed Separs crept into our rear, there is no one else! ”
And the world pretends to believe. Because the opposite is extremely difficult to prove. As an unnamed APU officer told one of the media, in order to accuse his subordinates of illegally using this type of weapon, one must first somehow capture the video of the installation of an anti-personnel mine. And then prove to the control authorities the authenticity of the video. Who should do this at the forefront? Not Ukrainian miners themselves?
In a word, outwardly everything with anti-personnel mines is sewn-covered. Just now Donbass can do further with these “gifts” – they don’t even know in Kiev. And in general, no one knows anywhere.
In conclusion – another almost funny, but actually tragic fact. At the end of November, the 4th conference to review the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction will be held in the capital of Norway, Oslo. On November 5, President Vladimir Zelensky formed a representative delegation of Ukraine to this forum by his decree. The deputy head of the delegation is Vadim Komissarov already mentioned by us. The same one, which, according to the logic of things, is responsible on the part of the Armed Forces for organizing the use of prohibited anti-personnel mines in this war.
Is he going to repent to Oslo? Of course not. To ask the world community to localize the fire, which he himself and his military commanders set fire to. What else should the participants in the international conference with Komissarov talk about?
While they will judge, try and argue, more than one innocent citizen of this unfortunate and absurd country will go to the morgue.