ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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It will take years to defuse war’s landmines, Ukraine says

Police officers and residents stand next to a shell crater in front of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv on March 12, 2022 (Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)
Police officers and residents stand next to a shell crater in front of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv on March 12, 2022 (Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

Ukraine’s interior minister says that it will take years to defuse unexploded ordnances after the Russian invasion.

Speaking to The Associated Press in the besieged Ukrainian capital, Denys Monastyrsky says that the country will need Western assistance to cope with the massive task once the war is over.

“A huge number of shells and mines have been fired at Ukraine and a large part haven’t exploded, they remain under the rubble and pose a real threat,” Monastyrsky says. “It will take years, not months, to defuse them.”

In addition to the unexploded Russian ordnances, the Ukrainian troops also have planted land mines at bridges, airports and other key infrastructure to prevent Russians from using them.

“We won’t be able to remove the mines from all that territory, so I asked our international partners and colleagues from the European Union and the United States to prepare groups of experts to de-mine the areas of combat and facilities that came under shelling,” Monastyrsky tells the AP.

He notes that another top challenge is dealing with fires caused by the relentless Russian barrages. He said there’s a desperate shortage of personnel and equipment to deal with the fires amid the constant shelling.

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