Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 01.10.2018
Putin’s invasion-occupation army has struck a lethal blow against Ukraine’s children again. On the morning of September 30, four children who live in Russian-occupied Horlivka, in Donetsk region, tripped a MON-50 anti-personnel mine. They were walking in a wooded area near the Russian army’s Mayorsk block post. A Russian occupation regime official, the so-called ‘mayor’ of Horlivka, Ivan Prikhodko, told a propaganda news outlet that three teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, were killed and a 10-year-old child was being treated in hospital with serious injuries.
Prikhodko admitted that it was a MON-50 anti-personnel mine which exploded. It had been placed in trees near the front line where Russian invader-occupiers confront Ukrainian defenders. A MON-50 is an anti-personnel mine currently manufactured in the Russian Federation. It is usually mounted above the ground, up in trees, so that explosive fragmentation is the most lethal and injurious.
The Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty outlaws anti-personnel mines. Ukraine has signed and has ratified the Ottawa Treaty, and has eliminated all anti-personnel mines from its stockpiles. The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have and do not use anti-personnel mines. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has never reported anti-personnel mines on what it calls the government-controlled side of the contact line.
The Russian Federation refused to sign the Ottawa Treaty. Putin’s army invading Europe in Ukraine uses anti-personnel mines heavily, especially in Donbas. The United Nations reports that eastern Ukraine where Russia has invaded is becoming one of the most mined areas in the world. The number of victims of landmines in Russian-invaded parts of Ukraine exceeds that in Syria, Yemen, or African conflict zones.
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation do not mark their minefields in the parts of Ukraine they have invaded and occupy. The Muscovites do not distribute maps of minefields to local residents. They do not allow de-mining NGOs, such as the Danish Demining Group, to do their good work in areas under Muscovy occupation.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an irredeemable evil. The devaluing of Ukrainian lives by the foreign interlopers from Muscovy causes death, injury, destruction, and misery. Three Ukrainian children are dead and one child is badly injured because Russians have chosen war rather than let Ukrainians live peacefully, freely, and independently. Three more names have been added to the list of over 11,000 people killed by Putin’s war against Ukraine. The grief that descended on Ukrainian families from what the Russians did in Horlivka on September 30 is too much to contemplate.