Demining of Ukraine Will Cost $1-1.5 Bln and Last 5 Years

by Meifan Honcharuk
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Demining of Ukraine Will Cost $1-1.5 Bln and Last 5 Years

Ukraine's minefield is almost equal to the minefield of the whole of Europe after World War II

It started today in Geneva, the 26th International meeting of mine action national directors and UN advisers. The head of UN mine action for the UN Development Programme in Ukraine, Paul Heslop, stated:

"What we're facing in Ukraine is very much what was faced in Europe at the end of World War II."

In order to help Ukraine recover economically and restore its agricultural capacity, the first step is to clear the territory of anti-personnel mines. This will require $200-300 million annually for 5 years. According to Heslop, this will solve 75-80% of the problems, but this is only the first part of the whole scale of the explosive disaster. First, critical land areas will be freed from mines, the power supply will be restored there, areas will be marked as partially developed, and then specialists will move to other priority areas.

"What we really need from the international community... would be a commitment of something like US$200-300 million a year for the next 5 years," Heslop.

Then "we will see Ukraine retake its place as an agricultural powerhouse, and that will affect the world: it will bring down food prices for everybody."

It is worth noting that anti-personnel mines are prohibited for use in war. Heslop testified that the Ukrainians do not use these weapons, but he has "extensive evidence that the Russians have."

After the explosion of the Kakhovka dam, water from the reservoir washed away the minefields. Mine entered the Dnipro and downstream, further to the sea.

"Unfortunately, we could see anti-personnel pressure mines washing up on beaches around the Black sea."

As of February 24, 2022, the UN Human Rights Office officially recorded 290 deaths and 605 injuries from mines and explosive remnants of war in Ukraine.

"Actual numbers are considerably higher," the UN HRO. 

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