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New draft law “On mine action in Ukraine” to be submitted by Verkhovna Rada

6.10.2016

In direct cooperation with the fund “Donbass without weapons” a draft law “On mine action in Ukraine” was prepared. The main purpose of this draft law is to make Ukrainian legislation relevant to the international standards in actions connected with mine neutralization. Ukraine is obliged to assume these measures to receive a comprehensive support from the side of the international community which will help the country clear up the mines in Donbass within the minimum period of time.

More than 20 thousand square kilometers need a detailed examination as to dangerous explosive objects making the Donbass and Luhansk regions safe and suitable for living and farming. It is a so called humanitarian mine neutralization which implies a comprehensive range of measures on mine action. For the time being, different international organizations including the Danish mission HALO TRUST are trying to take these actions. They have a profound practical expertise in the demilitarization of flashpoints in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. However, their activities are currently reduced to the training of Ukrainian field engineers and the provision of equipment. While the staff of the organization is full of experienced field engineers with the high quality equipment, ready to search for and utilize dangerous explosive objects, such actions from their side are prohibited in accordance with Ukrainian legislations.

The representatives of the fund “Donbass without weapons” prepared the law draft which is to resolve these issues. The law draft includes all international standards as far as mine neutralization is concerned to be adopted by Ukrainian legislation. The document offers an arrangement of international organization attraction for the comprehensive humanitarian mine neutralization, includes the rules of their functioning and funding. The draft law provides for the creation of the State United Headquarters which is to control Ukrainian and international organizations involved in mine action in Donbass.

Humanitarian mine neutralization: concept

In order the territory to become safe for living, farming and industrial activity again, measures on “humanitarian mine neutralization” should be taken. This process has a following concept:

  1. Comprehensive examination of the territories and objects of infrastructure for mines or unexploded munitions. Preparation of maps with dangerous areas.
  2. Warning the residents against dangerous zones, teaching them rules of anti-mine protection.
  3. Mine neutralization and utilization of dangerous explosive objects.
  4. Promotion of the prohibition against antipersonnel mine.
  5. Assistance for the people who have suffered from mines, their physical and social rehabilitation.

This is an approximate list of tasks every of which contains additional subparagraphs.

Moreover, it should be also mentioned that according to the preliminary estimates, it takes not less than 10 years and 10 billion euro to provide the East of Ukraine with a comprehensive mine neutralization. During mine neutralization 150 peaceful residents died as victims of mine blasts, trip wires or dangerous explosive objects. Moreover, people survived but were badly injured in more than 500 mine blast accidents.

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