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Russians use banned mines in Kharkiv and Sumy regions

Wednesday, 30 March 2022, 18:24
Russians use banned mines in Kharkiv and Sumy regions

DENYS KARLOVSKYI - WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2022, 18:24

The Russian occupiers are laying banned mines with seismic sensors in the captured territories of the Sumy and Kharkiv regions.

Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; international human rights organisation Human Rights Watch

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Details: Ukrainian mine clearance experts confirmed on 28 March that Russian occupiers were using the latest POM-3 "Medallion" anti-personnel mines. Only Russia produces such mines.

They use seismic sensors that distinguish human walking from other vibrations in the ground. After a signal is triggered on the sensor, the warhead flies out of the mine at a distance of 1 to 1.5 metres into the air and explodes. The explosive and the metal shrapnel flying out of the warhead can kill people within a blast radius of 16 metres or, at best, cause serious injury.

Human Rights Watch stressed that such mines are banned under the international 1997 Ottawa Convention, to which 169 countries are signatories. Russia has not signed this treaty.

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Human Rights Watch has suggested that the mines were laid by launching special landmine missiles. The organisation's report shared a video of the launch of such systems, which allegedly took place in the Kharkiv Region and made public on social networks on 26 March.

HRW representatives have called on Russia to stop using mines banned under international humanitarian law and noted that the Ukrainian army has no such mines or appropriate means for carrying out remote mining.

Background:

  • Civilians have been repeatedly hit by Russian mines during the 2022 war between Russia and Ukraine.
  • The Office of the Prosecutor General reported in February that the Russian invaders had airdropped extremely dangerous Lepestok "butterfly" mines, which are also banned by international conventions.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a speech to the Norwegian parliament, said Russia had created the biggest threat on the seas since World War II with its sea mines.

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