Washington releases 89 million dollars to demine Ukraine

Washington releases $89 million to clear Ukraine< /p> UPDATE DAY

WASHINGTON | The United States announced on Tuesday that it would spend $89 million to help Ukraine destroy anti-personnel mines, which it says were voluntarily planted by Russian soldiers in populated areas in the north of the country before withdrawing in March. 

This envelope, which will be used to finance a hundred teams of deminers belonging to NGOs or specialized private companies, represents “emergency aid to Ukraine to get rid of anti-personnel mines and other explosive remnants of war “, an official from the State Department, which funds this program, told the press.

“Russian forces used explosive ordnance in an irresponsible and brutal manner, causing civilian casualties, damaging seriously damaging civilian infrastructure and contaminating a large part of Ukrainian territory with explosives and anti-personnel mines,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

Citing Ukrainian authorities, the US official clarified that when Russian forces withdrew from northern Ukraine, “they hid booby-trapped objects and pipe bombs in food storage areas, car trunks , washing machines, doorways, hospital beds and even in the bodies of the victims of the invasion”.

He gave the example of a family from Boutcha, a locality near Kyiv where atrocities were revealed after the departure of Russian troops, who found a bomb in the piano of their 10-year-old daughter.

“This appalling use of anti-personnel bombs by Russian forces is reminiscent of the tactics of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, where ISIS terrorists sought to cause as many civilian casualties as possible so that people would have afraid to go home,” he added.

The Ukrainian government has already defused 160,000 explosives since the end of March, but it estimates that 5 million people currently live in areas infested with explosives and landmines, according to the State Department official.

< p>The $89 million package is intended exclusively for landmines, not seamines laid by Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea to guard against a Russian amphibious assault, which are hampering Ukrainian grain exports, a- he stressed.

The funds will not be allocated to the Ukrainian government to finance the operations, but will be used to directly employ, train and equip specialists from private companies and NGOs, a- he explained, citing in particular the Mines advisory group or the New Jersey company Tetra Tech EC.

The American official stressed that they would eliminate all mines, regardless of their origin, but he quoted a recent r contribution of the NGO Human Rights Watch according to which Ukraine, a signatory country to the international treaty banning anti-personnel mines, “appears to respect its obligations”.