Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 24.02.2019
The part of eastern Ukraine that was invaded and is now occupied by the Russian Federation is one of the most heavily mined areas in the world. Anti-personnel mines and anti-tank mines kill and maim Ukrainians, mostly civilians. On Sunday there were more casualties in Putin’s War.
At 12:30 on February 23 a minivan was travelling near the Olenivka checkpoint on route H-20, south of the city of Donetsk. It blew up on an anti-tank mine. Two people were killed on the spot and three others were injured.
The press service of the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine gave the few details available. The minivan suffered a breakdown and pulled to the median of the roadway. That’s where it hit the mine. The explosion was so severe that the wreckage was unrecognizable.
Olenivka is controlled by the Russian occupation authorities. The checkpoint at Olenivka is maintained by the 1st Army Corps (so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Non-governmental organizations specializing in demining and sappers of the Ukrainian army are hard at work to make safe areas of Donbas that have been liberated from the Russian invaders. But areas that remain under Russian occupation are dangerous, especially places like Olenivka that are near the battlefront.
Soldiers of the Russian occupation army are laying unmarked mines in Ukraine. This deliberate carelessness leads to the death or injury primarily of non-combatants and is a war crime. It is a war crime that has been carried out repeatedly for five long years, since the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine in Crimea and Donbas began.