Iryna Vereshchuk: Demining is a priority in restoring life in de-occupied territories. But international assistance is needed
Mine clearance is a priority in restoring life in the de-occupied territories. But we require international assistance. This was stated by Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, during a national news telethon. The Minister noted that the area of mined territories in Ukraine currently amounted to 140,000 square kilometres. This is, for example, the size of two Czech Republics.
Iryna Vereshchuk also commented on the situation in the Kharkiv region, which had recently been visited by the Ministry’s team. The State Emergency Service is doing everything possible and impossible there. However, the areas contaminated with explosives are so vast that it is almost impossible to clear them without assistance.
“This is one of the areas where there is a huge problem with humanitarian demining. Especially given that people want to return to their homes. Spring field work is just beginning in Ukraine. Our land, which is essentially our lifeblood, loved and cared for by our people, has become a high risk area due to the russian occupiers. To effectively clear the liberated territories of mines, we need to unite the international community and create a mine action coalition. We need to make the most mined country in the world safe. This is the main prerequisite for the restoration of life in the towns and villages liberated from the enemy,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.
The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories continues active efforts in the field of humanitarian demining. Currently, the main tasks in this area include collecting information on explosive ordnance incidents and victims, as well as interaction with all national mine action units.