International humanitarian organization demines 6 plots of land in Kharkiv region

Karina Bondar - 08 May 2024 | 19:12

KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE, May 8 — The HALO Trust, an international humanitarian demining organization, has demined siх plots of land in the Chuhuiv and Izium districts and handed them over back to the local communities, reported Gwara Media’s journalists.

Volodymyr Fomenko, the head of the village of Petrivske in the Balakliia community, and Oleksandr Husarov, the head of the Pechenihy community, along with The HALO Trust, signed an act of transfer of demined land. The handover ceremony took place in Pechenihy.

Signing of land demining certificates / Photo: Polina Kulish, Gwara Media

According to the organization, the Kharkiv region is the most contaminated with explosive remnants of war. These are the first areas that have been demined by The HALO Trust in the region. The deminers cleared four plots of land in Petrivske and two in Pechenihy, which amounted to over 120,000 square meters.

Denys Fedan, a mine-clearance supervisor of The HALO Trust in the Kharkiv region explains the methods of demining / Photo: Polina Kulish, Gwara Media

Near the village of Petrivske, experts cleared access roads to the forest and dirt roads leading to the surrounding fields. In Pechenihy, they demined parts of the beach near the Siverskyi Donets River.

The HALO Trust has been clearing mines and explosive ordnance in 30 countries for 36 years, and HALO Ukraine has been working in the country’s east since 2015.

The organization says its goal is to save lives, return land to communities, and contribute to Ukraine’s recovery. After the full-scale invasion, the team expanded its activities and is now clearing land in six border regions, including Kharkiv oblast.

HALO Ukraine’s area of operation is civilian areas that have been occupied or where military operations have taken place: small settlements, infrastructure facilities, roads, fields, and private farms.

Map of mined areas / Photo: Polina Kulish, Gwara Media

After the Russian occupation, more than 570,000 hectares of land in the Kharkiv region need to be inspected for mines and explosive devices. About 1.2 million hectares are considered to be contaminated. According to Oleh Syniehubov, 138 sapper teams are working on demining the region—and, to accelerate the process, another 300 are needed.

Liana, a deminer, shows one of the methods for mine clearance / Photo: Polina Kulish, Gwara Media

Photo credits: The HALO Trust deminer Liana / Polina Kulish for Gwara Media

UPD from May 15, 10:35 p.m.: Mistranslations and semantic mistakes fixed.

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  • On May 1, at 12:10 a.m., a tractor hit an explosive device near the village of Hlynske, Izium district of Kharkiv region, reported the Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov. The explosion injured a 46-year-old driver.
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