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Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact


Ukraine is affected by mines and other ordnance, mostly as a result of heavy fighting between German and Soviet forces in World War II, but also from World War I. Ministry of Defense engineering forces completed partial clearance of affected areas in the mid-1970s, but demining operations continue to this day. The precise scope of any residual mine problem is not known. In its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports, Ukraine has declared no known or suspected areas containing antipersonnel mines under its jurisdiction or control.[1]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

Ukraine is primarily affected by explosive remnants of war (ERW), both unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance, resulting from World War I, World War II, and Soviet military training. Ukraine is not believed to be affected by cluster munition remnants. Casualties continue to occur from ERW. From 1 January to 30 November 2009, 40 people were reportedly killed or injured by ERW, including 19 children.[2]

The ERW problem includes World War II ammunition storage areas, particularly around the towns of Kerch and Sevastopol, where munitions were stored in “adits,” horizontal passageway tunnels in hills or mountainsides. These tunnels were used as munitions depots by the Soviet Army during World War II and were blown up in 1942 before the Soviet Army left the area. Clearance of the adit tunnels is expected to take between 10 and 20 years to complete.[3] Jankoy, Krasnoperekopsk, and Leninsky districts are also said to be highly affected.[4]

Underwater munitions have been found in the Black Sea near Kerch, Odessa, and Sevastopol, including naval mines from World War II.[5]

Mine Action Program

 Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority

None, although an interministerial working group continues to operate

Mine action center

None, although the Ministry of Defense has a training center

International operators


National operators

Ministry of Defense

Ministry of Emergency Situations

Border Guard Service

Ukroboronservice (commercial company)

As of July 2012, there was no formal national mine action authority in Ukraine, although an interministerial working group was set up by the Cabinet of Ministers in February 2006. On 25 December 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued an order that tasked the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and Ukroboron service to put forward proposals by mid-April 2010 regarding the establishment of a national body for demining.[6]

The Ministry of Emergency Situations is generally responsible for clearance of affected territories, with the exception of those allocated to the other ministries and bodies. The Ministry of Defense is responsible for all areas where military units, educational institutions, companies, or organizations belonging to the armed forces are permanently located. Ukroboronservice acts as a subcontractor for both ministries in survey and disposal of ERW as well as conducting survey and clearance of construction sites. The national Border Guard Service conducts demining in areas under its control on land and in the sea.

In 2001, the armed forces set up a demining center for the training of deminers at the Military Engineering Institute of Podolsk Agrar Technical University in Kamenez-Podolskiy. Since 2007, the center has been collecting and analyzing data on explosive hazards and demining and functioning as a separate military entity.[7]

Cabinet of Ministers Decree No. 131 of 18 February 2009 adopted the State Program for Demining by the Ministry of Emergency Situations for 2009–2014.[8] The program foresees clearance of 15km2 over five years with the destruction of 500,000 ERW.


[1] See, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form C, 20 April 2008, 20 April 2009, 1 April 2010, 1 April 2011, and for calendar year 2011.

[2] Reports accessed at www.mns.gov.ua.

[3] “During a Year in Kerch and Sevastopol neutralized 33 thousands of munitions,” forUm, 4 December 2009, www.for-ua.com.

[4] Ministry of Emergency Situations (Crimea), “Explosive Snowdrops,” 12 March 2009, www.crimea.mns.gov.ua.

[5] See, for example, UN, “United Nations Mine Action Inter-Agency Assessment Mission to Ukraine, 12–17 December 2005,” Draft report, June 2006, p. 3.

[6] Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 73471/1/1-09, 25 December 2009.

[7] Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for the period 15 May 2008 to 15 May 2009), Form B.

[8] Email from Lt.-Col. Vitaliy Baranov, Ministry of Defense, 20 January 2010.