Mine clearance in Ukraine: what new solutions has the government proposed?
Ukraine has become the most mined country in Europe, and therefore the problem of demining is very acute. Find out how Ukraine will solve this problem and what new solutions have already been implemented
As a result of the russian invasion, Ukraine has become the most mined country in Europe. According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the total area of land contaminated with mines, shells, and bombs is 174,000 square kilometers, which is comparable to half the area of Germany.
According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, it will take at least 10 years to clear all the territories of mines with the tools the country has now. The most heavily mined regions of Ukraine are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kyiv, and Kharkiv oblasts.
That is why the country urgently needs new solutions and approaches that will speed up the demining process and make it more efficient.
"We need innovations, new approaches and new standards in terms of demining agricultural land to bring it back into use as soon as possible. That is why we are in constant dialog with Ukrainian and international operators and are looking for these approaches," said Yulia Svyrydenko, First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, in an interview with Ukrinform.
As a reminder, the hostilities have also generated an unprecedented amount of garbage, and as of today, Ukraine's losses due to land contamination have reached a trillion hryvnias. To learn more about how the Ukrainian government plans to dispose of waste and what solutions are already working, please follow the link.
What is the current demining situation in Ukraine?
Currently, there are three certification centers in the country: in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Merefa, and Chernihiv, where sappers are trained. In addition, these centers can provide companies/enterprises with the relevant mine action operator certificates after submitting documents and an application in the prescribed form. Thus, there are currently 14 certified mine action operators in Ukraine. In total, there are about 330 mobile groups that perform work throughout the country.
Reports on the demining of a particular area are entered into a special database. The Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Emergency Service update the IMSMA system on a weekly basis based on data submitted by mine action operators. This system contains all relevant information on mine and other explosive contamination throughout Ukraine.
It should be noted that humanitarian demining is only one of the stages. In addition to operators, Ukraine needs specialists in technical surveys of territories, manual demining and surveys of areas in the combat zone, as well as special demining equipment and systems.
What solutions does the government propose to solve the problem of demining in Ukraine?
Ukraine has begun to expand its humanitarian demining capabilities. From now on, the procurement of relevant services will be carried out through special auctions, which will be open to both Ukrainian operators and foreign private companies. The first auction will be held in August this year.
However, according to Svyrydenko, the primary task now is to speed up the certification process for operators. At the same time, it is important for the country to maintain the quality of training. To this end, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and its partners are already working on analyzing the relevant regulations, which will update the current rules and repeal irrelevant laws.
In addition, the state budget does not currently provide for a separate program for humanitarian demining, so the Ministry of Economy works mainly with partner resources. And despite the fact that the country has good support and a fairly fast pace in this matter, given the overall replaceability of the territories, this is not enough. That is why auctions will help to resolve the issue of attracting domestic and foreign mine action operators.
Another important area that the Ukrainian government is working on is increasing the number of specialized demining equipment and machines. However, the issue is not only to increase the amount of equipment provided by partners, but also to establish our own production. And today Ukraine already has several such projects. In particular, we are talking about localizing the production of the Croatian company Dok-ING d.o.o. and the Danish company Hydrema in Ukraine. Active work is also underway to test special drones for demining.
We remind you! The damage caused to Ukraine as a result of russian aggression is estimated at billions of dollars. Read more about which sector has suffered the most and how much money is needed to restore the destroyed infrastructure in our previous article.
Photo: Kyiv City State Administration, Oleksiy Samsonov
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