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Ukraine: Mechanical demining operations are gaining momentum in Mykolaiv Oblast

On 20 April, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) held a demonstration of a demining machine in Mykolaiv. This is the first machine of this type that the organisation is starting to use in Ukraine.

©DRC Ukraine, 2024, Mykolaiv, Svitlana Koval.

Posted on 22 Apr 2024

Thanks to funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, DRC will be able to clear mines and other explosive ordnance with special machines. The first machine of the GCS-200 series is already in Mykolaiv. Training for mechanical operators is underway and preparations for the mechanical accreditation are also progressing well, so DRC will soon be able to start working in contaminated areas with demining machine support.

The machine is remotely controlled and can clear up to 12,000 m² per day, which is 200 times more than a group of deminers that clear about 60 m² per day.

"Every step forward in clearing land from mines is a step towards more security, a step towards reestablishing normal and peaceful life. I am proud that Germany is making such a significant contribution to demining contaminated land in Ukraine. We do this in close cooperation with the Ukrainian Government and with the outstanding support of our international partners," said Martin Jäger, the German Ambassador to Ukraine.

Martin Jäger, German Ambassador to Ukraine

Every step forward in clearing land from mines is a step towards more security, a step towards reestablishing normal and peaceful life.

/  Martin Jäger, German Ambassador to Ukraine

DRC has been engaged in humanitarian mine action in Ukraine since 2014, but until now, the clearance has been carried out manually by deminers.

Thanks to the demining machines, the process becomes much faster—in the areas where they are used, deminers only check the quality of the machine work.

The UN reports that over 1,000 civilians have been killed or injured by mines and explosive remnants of war since February 2022.

Contamination continues to risk the lives and livelihoods of more than 6 million Ukrainians. Accelerated demining makes it possible to save lives and start rebuilding Ukraine faster.

"I am very happy that DRC can add a new tool to its demining toolbox which will greatly improve the efficiency of land release operations," adds Roxana Bobolicu, Head of DRC's Humanitarian Disarmament and Peacebuilding Sector.

"Getting this machine to Ukraine was long and complicated, and I am proud that we have finally crossed this threshold. Now the demining teams in Mykolaiv Oblast will be able to work faster, which is critical given the scale of mine contamination in Ukraine. We expect to receive another demining machine next month."

Roxana Bobolicu, Head of DRC's Humanitarian Disarmament and Peacebuilding Sector

I am very happy that DRC can add a new tool to its demining toolbox which will greatly improve the efficiency of land release operations.

/  Roxana Bobolicu, Head of DRC's Humanitarian Disarmament and Peacebuilding Sector

A demining machine at a demonstration site in Mykolaiv. ©DRC Ukraine, 2024, Mykolaiv, Svitlana Koval.

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