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Ukraine demines half of farming lands designated for mine clearance

Ukraine’s demining efforts show significant progress as the Ministry of Economy reports nearly half of priority farming lands cleared since the beginning of 2023.
Ukraine farm war
The remains of a Russian military vehicle in a winter wheat field on Iveria-Agro farm. Photo: Kris Parker
Ukraine demines half of farming lands designated for mine clearance

Ukraine has managed to clear mines from nearly half of its priority agricultural lands this year. On 18 October, Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy reported that over 225,000 hectares have been demined since the beginning of 2023.

The Ministry says the last week alone saw more than 5,000 hectares of such mine-contaminated lands being cleared, the operational information from regional military administrations. The majority of these, approximately 4,200 hectares, are located in Kherson Oblast, while the rest are in Mykolaiv and Kharkiv Oblasts. As of today, more than 47% of agricultural lands designated for priority demining have been cleared.

This demining initiative aligns with Ukraine’s objective of bringing these lands back into economic operation. The country aims to demine up to 35% of its four-year plan by the end of 2023, targeting around 165,000 hectares more. In total, the goal is to safely reintroduce approximately 470,000 hectares of agricultural lands back into use.

In May, pyrotechnic teams achieved steady demining rates, surveying an average of 5,500 hectares per week. 

In the course of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, Russian forces might have contaminated some 30% of Ukraine’s territory, or about 174,000 square kilometers, with mines and unexploded ordnance, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service

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