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Last Updated: 29 November 2014

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact


Belarus has a residual mine problem from World War II, although in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports, Belarus has declared no known or suspected areas containing antipersonnel mines under its jurisdiction or control.[1] In 2009, for example, only three out of more than 45,000 items of explosive ordnance cleared were antipersonnel mines.

Cluster munition remnants

It is not known if there are any cluster munition remnants in Belarus.[2]

Other explosive remnants of war

Belarus is primarily contaminated by large quantities of explosive remnants of war (ERW), mainly unexploded ordnance from World War II, World War I, and even from the Napoleonic Wars. According to the Ministry of Defense, more than 350km2 are affected by ERW.[3] Heavy contamination has been reported in Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev, and Vitebsk regions.[4] Most of the contaminated areas are said to be agricultural land or forest. None of the areas containing ERW are marked or fenced and little information is available to indicate the potential density of contamination.[5]

There is also a residual problem from abandoned explosive ordnance. For example, in December 2009, an arsenal of artillery shells, mortar shells, and more than 100 different types of grenade left from World War II was found in a forest near Pekalichi village in Jlobin region by clearance personnel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.[6]

Contamination also includes explosive ordnance from military testing, as opposed to armed conflict.

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority


Mine action center


International demining operators


National demining operators

Ministry of Defense engineers

Ministry of Internal Affairs clearance personnel

Belarus has neither a national mine action authority nor a national mine action center. Demining and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) is conducted by both Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal Affairs’ personnel. The Ministry of Defense conducts planned clearance operations while the Ministry of Internal Affairs responds to emergency requests for EOD in cities, towns, and villages, and is also responsible for the detection and clearance of unexploded air-dropped bombs.

The Ministry of Defense engineers have 30 five-person clearance teams across 22 military districts with a total of 150 personnel. Their equipment, which includes mechanical demining assets, was most recently upgraded in 2008.[7] The Ministry of Internal Affairs has 10 EOD units with a total of 100 personnel and 20 mine detection dogs (MDDs): two MDD units with 10 dogs in each.[8]

In 2009, in accordance with Article 7 of Protocol V to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), Belarus officially applied for international assistance for clearance of ERW on its territory.[9]

Land Release

Belarus does not report on the size of area cleared, nor does it distinguish antivehicle mines from ERW destroyed during clearance operations.[10]

Since 1944, more than 27 million ERW are reported to have been cleared in Belarus.[11]

Quality management

There is no external quality assurance or quality control capacity in Belarus.[12]


[1] See, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, submitted in 2012.

[2] Interview with Col. Alexander Tihonov, Head of Engineering Technical Department, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 19 February 2010.

[3] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report, Form A, 4 September 2009.

[4] Letter from Dmitry Trenashkin, Ministry of Defense, 3 April 2007.

[5] Belarus, “ERW Database,” Discussion Paper 2/REV.1, 2008 Meeting of Experts of the States Parties to CCW Protocol V, May 2009, p. 6.

[6] “Cache of Black diggers,” Respublica, 4 December 2009, www.respublika.info .

[7] Col. Igor Lisovsky, Ministry of Defense, “Engineer Forces: History and Current State,” Vo slavu rodini, 21 January 2009, www.vsr.mil.by; and Belarus, “ERW Database,” Discussion Paper 2/REV.1, 2008 Meeting of Experts of the States Parties to CCW Protocol V, May 2009, p. 6.

[8] Belarus, “ERW Database,” Discussion Paper 2/REV.1, 2008 Meeting of Experts of the States Parties to CCW Protocol V, May 2009, p. 3.

[9] Article 10 Report, Form E, 4 September 2009.

[10] See, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, submitted in 2012.

[11] Article 10 Report, Form A, 15 March 2010.

[12] Interview with Col. Alexander Tihonov, Ministry of Defense, Minsk, 19 February 2010.