16 thousand sq km in the east of Ukraine are contaminated with explosive objects and require mine clearance. This was stated at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday by head of the Department of Environmental Safety and Mine Action of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Maksym Komisarov, - Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"7 thousand sq km are contaminated with explosive objects in the territories controlled by Ukraine and 9 thousand sq km - in the uncontrolled territories. It is approximately 16 thousand sq km, which threaten the lives of local residents", - he said.
M.Komisarov noted that the ammunition supplied by militants from Russia is often old and not blows up, but remain on the ground. "They represent the biggest threat", - he noted.
According to him, since the beginning of armed hostilities in the Donbass, 2558 civilians, including 242 children, have died as a result of detonation of explosive objects. As of March 2018, 273 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, about 1 thousand were affected by the detonation.
Since 2014, 26 thousand hectares of territories have been inspected and more than 346 thousand explosive objects have been destroyed. "However, the cleared territories cannot be considered safe because, despite the Minsk agreements, the militants continue to shell our territories, repeatedly contaminating them. We can clear the same section several times", - the head of the department explained.
At present, there are 50 squads of sappers of the State Emergency Service and State Special Transport Service in the east of Ukraine. Last year, the international non-governmental organizations - The HALO Trust, Danish Demining Group, FSD - began helping international experts in mine clearance.