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Country Reports
UKRAINE, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: The start of Ukraine’s stockpile destruction program has been delayed beyond the original target of the year 2000. Full destruction is now contemplated in 2007. In 1999, an International Demining Training Center was created, the Ministry of Defense formed a demining company for domestic and foreign demining operations, and the non-governmental Ukrainian Mine Action Information Center was established. Ukraine ratified CCW Amended Protocol II (Landmines) on 21 September 1999.

Mine Ban Policy

The key stumbling block to Ukraine’s immediate and full embrace of the Treaty has been concern about its ability to bear the costs of destroying its significant mine stockpile within the required four years. After months of diplomatic and technical discussions, on 28 January 1999 Ukraine signed an agreement with Canada regarding cooperation in the destruction of the stockpiles.[1] On the same day, President Leonid Kuchma declared that Ukraine would join the Mine Ban Treaty and in less than a month, on 24 February 1999, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada signed the treaty at the United Nations.

Although work has continued to be able to carry out the terms of the agreement on destruction of stocks, the Parliament has not made any move toward ratification of the treaty. As a first step, the Parliament must ratify the agreement between the government and Canada on stockpile destruction; technical questions and problems regarding the procedure for the destruction are yet to be resolved. The current position of the government is that ratification of the treaty itself will only be considered after the first stage of the bilateral program for stockpile destruction has been completed.[2]

Ukraine continues to participate in relevant landmine meetings. The government delegation to the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999 was headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The government also participated in nearly every ban treaty intersessional meeting. Representatives from Ukraine attended regional conferences on landmines held in Zagreb in June of 1999, Tbilisi in December of 1999, and in Minsk in February of 2000.

Ukraine voted in favor of the December 1999 UN General Assembly resolution in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had in 1997 and 1998.

Ukraine ratified Amended Protocol II (Landmines) to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons on 21 September 1999, and opted for the nine-year delay in implementation of key provisions. It took part in both the preparatory meeting in May 1999 and the First Annual Conference of State Parties to Amended Protocol II to the CCW in Geneva in December 1999.

The military determined that to be in compliance with Amended Protocol II, it would have to destroy 1.146 million PFM mines and 6 million PFM-1S mines, because they do not meet the technical requirements of the protocol. The military considers that the following mines, if adapted with Soviet-made manual control devices, would be in compliance: POMZ-2, POMZ-2М, OZM-4, OZM-72, and MON. The adapting devices (23,300 complete sets of a type VKPM and 42,300 complete sets of VKPM) would cost U.S. $2.7 million. Ministries responsible for carrying out the obligations under the Amended Protocol include the Ministries of Defense, Industrial Policy, and Foreign Affairs.[3]

As a member of the Conference on Disarmament, Ukraine has supported its negotiation of a transfer ban.

Production and Transfer

Under the Soviet Union, Ukraine produced components for Soviet landmines.[4] Representatives of the Ukrainian government and military have repeatedly stated in a number of fora that the country does not manufacture landmines and has not since independence.[5]

A 1993 U.S. State Department communiqué identified Ukraine as an exporter of antipersonnel mines, though Landmine Monitor is unaware of any documented cases of transfer since independence.[6] Ukraine enacted a moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines from August 1995 to September 1999.[7] That moratorium was extended through 2003.[8] It is not believed that Ukraine has imported AP mines, having inherited such large stocks from the USSR.


Ukraine has approximately 10.1 million AP mines in its stockpiles, inherited after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.[9] Weapons, including landmines, had been stored at the North (Kiev), South (Odessa) and West (Prikarpatskiy) Military Districts.[10] The following types of AP mines have been reported in the Ukrainian stockpile: PMN, PMN-2, PMN-4, OZM-72, MON-50, MON-90, MON-100, MON-200, KSF-l cluster bomb with PFM-1 AP mines, KPOM-2 cluster bomb with POM-2 AP mines, PFM-lS, and the POM-2.[11]

In March 1998, Ukraine destroyed 101,028 PFM-1 landmines from the Ukrainian Army arsenals on the proving ground near Kiev.[12] Based on experience destroying mines such as the PFM-1, Ukraine has concerns about environmental safety when destroying mines.[13] The preliminary information released by the Ministry of Ecological and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine after the destruction of landmines has shown that the pollution of the environment exceeds by hundreds or more times the permissible norms and standards of pollution. [14] The main pollutants are oxide of aluminum, lead containing residues, and cyanide of hydrogen (cyanhydric acid). The range of area polluted by hazardous substances when burning one box with PFM -1 cassettes ranged from 0.3 up to 6.7 kilometers, for 10 boxes ranged from 1 up to 21.2 kilometers. [15]

Under the January 1999 agreement, Canada will be providing financial and technical support for destruction. Under the terms of the agreement, Canada and Ukraine are to choose a company to destroy the stockpiles and draft a contract to begin work. Environmental assessment and financial and technical verification mechanisms are also being developed. It had been hoped that a destruction plan would be announced in 1999, but this did not occur. The delay will push back the anticipated initiation of stock destruction beyond the original target of the year 2000. [16]

From the Ukrainian side, Sodruzhestvo Corporation, which carried out trial runs in 1999 to check the technology for the destruction of a sample of one type of PMN landmine,[17] agreed to participate, but a Canadian counterpart has not yet been selected. Ukraine created a special team headed by Lt. Gen. Vorobiyov, Commander of the Engineer Forces, to select the Canadian participant in the joint project. In the autumn - winter of 1999-2000 two Canadian companies, Taron, Inc., and Katridis, presented their proposals to representatives of the Ukrainian Interdepartmental Workgroup on salvaging mines in Kiev. [18]

Two main steps in the destruction process are contemplated. During the first stage, from 2000-2003, the technical plans for stock destruction would be developed and the industrial facilities for the destruction built. The cost of developing the technology and the industrial capacity for the destruction could reach U.S. $5.5 million. During the second stage, from 2003-2007, destruction of landmines would be carried out.[19] Estimates of cost of destruction cannot be confidently made until technology for destruction is clearly determined. But it seems that the cost of destroying the PFMs alone could be between U.S.$ 10-15 million.[20] The Ministry of Industrial Policy is responsible for the development and implementation of the agreement for destruction of stocks.

On 28 October 1999, through NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) program, Canada proposed cooperation in the destruction of Ukrainian landmines. On 11 November 1999 in Brussels, during a session of the Political - Military Steering Committee of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), cooperation measures within the current PfP program were discussed, including information on location and safety of mines. Some NATO countries supported the proposals of Canada, but the USA did not support revealing locations and safety of stocks. [21]


The Ukraine Ministry of Defense states that AP mines have not been used on Ukrainian territory since WWII. However, Ukrainian police have recorded individual cases of landmine use for criminal purposes. In 1999 there were 220 explosive incidents in Ukraine and the police confiscated more than 1,055 explosive devices.[22] According to Ukrainian experts, one half of all mines, manual explosive devices and other explosives confiscated were in the Odessa area, at the Moldova and Pridnestrovie borders.[23]

Mine Clearance

Ukraine is still affected by mines and unexploded ordnance from World War II. The demining of Ukrainian territory is carried out by the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Bombs Disposal Division of the Ministry of Interior's Special Police Demining Teams (SPDT). The Secret Service of Ukraine also has a demining unit.[24] (See also LM Report 1999, pp. 759-760.)

For clearance purposes, Ukrainian territory is divided into 497 areas of responsibility; of these, the Ministry of Defense is responsible for demining 442 areas, and the Ministry of Emergency Situations is responsible for demining in the remaining fifty-five areas.[25]

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has 135 demining teams, of which 12-13 teams work daily to clear mines and UXO. According to MoD reports, its teams cleared 13,436 mines and UXO in 1999. [26] The Ministry of Emergency Situations Demining Teams collected 4,430 mines and UXO in 1999. The cost of maintaining one demining team is about U.S. $500.[27]

Mine Awareness

There are no systematic mine awareness programs in Ukraine. During mine clearance operations, deminers meet with the local population and educate them on the rules of behavior when they come across a UXO. In the Kiev area in 1999, children discovered more than 600 air bombs, shells, mines and UXOs from WWII, all of which were immediately neutralized.[28]

After a series of “terrorist acts” in Russia from 9-13 September 1999, the President of Ukraine issued a special directive to the police, Ministry of Defense and other central bodies to carry out preventive measures, directed at the strengthening of public safety and providing mine awareness education. Special Police Demining Teams (SPDT) of the Ministry of the Interior’s Bomb Disposal Division made 734 mine awareness presentations in Ukrainian mass media.[29]

In 1999 the Ukrainian Mine Action Information Center (UMAIC) was formed. It is composed of members of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association (UPVA), which has branches and representatives in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Vinnitsa, Odessa, Ternopol, Zhitomir and other cites in Ukraine. The Center is to become a focal point for collecting, analyzing and disseminating information about victim assistance, refugee resettlement, and other landmine-related issues. Through conferences and seminars, UMAIC seeks to educate the government, military and general public about landmine related issues.[30]

International Demining Programs

In 1999 an International Demining Training Center was created in the town of Kamenets Podolsk, Ukraine. The main task of the Center is to train foreign personnel for demining operations.[31] A group from Nigeria was trained at the Center in September/October 1999.[32] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a delegation on a working trip to West Africa. In meetings with Senegal, that government considered the possibility of cooperating with Ukraine in training of personnel in mine clearance.[33]

The Ministry of Defense created a demining company, Podolskvzrivprom, for participation in domestic and foreign demining operations. The major Ukrainian state arms trader, Ukrspetsexport, has been working to support the demining company in creating joint demining programs in foreign countries.[34] In 1999, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explored with the EC, WEU, and others the possibility of participation in foreign demining operations. One of the main problems for Ukraine is that it adheres to old Soviet standards; UN standards for mine clearance are not followed in Ukraine. [35]

Ukraine is active in research and development of new mine detection technologies. In 1997 a joint Ukrainian - Turkish research laboratory, located in Marmara, Turkey, was created for this purpose. The laboratory is managed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Science and Education, and the Turkish Ministry of Defense.[36] Additionally, the Ukrainian Space Agency, Magellan, has a special project for research on the development of technology for the detection of mines from aircraft and helicopters.[37]

Landmine Survivor Assistance

An estimated 1,500 civilians have been killed by mines and UXO since 1945.[38] There are an estimated 80,000 mine and UXO victims in Ukraine today.[39]

The main institution for assistance to mine victims is the Social Rehabilitation Center in Kiev, which provides artificial upper and lower limb orthopedic goods, and works in close contact with the Otto Bock company in Germany.[40] The country also has thirty hospitals for veterans and war victims.[41]

Ukraine has enacted laws providing measures on social rehabilitation of disabled people and a Special Council for the disabled was created in May 1999.[42] The Council is made up of representatives of the main ministries along with representatives of the main non-governmental and veteran organizations of Ukraine, which are active on issues related to war victims and the disabled. (See also, LM Report 1999, p. 761.)

Of the estimated 80,000 mine victims in Ukraine, 20,000 need prosthetic devices.[43] Of the U.S. $20 million budgeted in 1999 for the Ukrainian State Fund for Social Protection of the Disabled, only 50% was available.[44] In the November 1999 meeting of the CIS in Kiev, Ukraine sought partners for joint cooperation to create national landmine victims support programs under the Mine Ban Treaty.[45]

On 3 December 1999 President Leonid Kuchma took part in the annual activities marking the World Day of the Disabled, which also coincided with the anniversary of the signing of the Ottawa Convention. During his visit to the Ukrainian Campaign to Ban Landmines exhibit, the President stated that the country will make every effort to expand social protection for war victims and the disabled. The Landmine Monitor Report 1999 was presented to the President at that time.

During 1999 in Ukraine the Russian victims of war in the Chechen Republic have been given prosthetic assistance.

Ukraine has initiated the development of a program of humanitarian cooperation with Pakistan and Afghanistan for assistance and medical rehabilitation for mine victims. In late March 2000, a Ukrainian delegation led by the Maj. General Sergey Chervonopisky, Chairman of State Department for Veterans Affairs, visited Pakistan. Ukraine has offered to Pakistan and Afghanistan, pursuant to the Mine Ban Treaty, joint cooperation between government and non-governmental agencies for support to war victims and for prosthetic repair. Toward this end, Ukraine has planned to send to Pakistan mobile field medical groups, which have new technologies for prosthetic work and conduct workshops.[46]


[1] “Memorandum on Mutually Beneficial Cooperation Between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ukraine on Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines Stockpiled by the Armed Forces of Udraine and Prohibited by the [Mine Ban Treaty],” 28 January 1999.
[2] Interview with Mr. Yuri Polurez, Deputy of Head Disarmament Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 January 2000.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Annual Report, Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association (UPVA), 1999.
[5] These have included statements by Ambassador Volodymyr Furkalo at the Treaty Signing Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 4 December 1997; by Mykhailo Osnach, Representative of Ukraine at the Budapest Regional Conference, 26-28 March 1998; and by Colonel M. Mikhailenko, Ukrainian Engineers Corps, Minsk Landmine Conference, 6-7 March 2000.
[6] U.S. Department of State, Outgoing Telegram, 7 December 1993.
[7] United Nations, Country Report: Ukraine, at http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country/ukraine.htm.
[8] Order of PM, #426, 22 March 1999.
[9] Mine Action Database, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. While 10.1 million is the commonly accepted number of the stockpile, other Ukrainian sources have put the number at 9.6 million and Sergey Pashinskiy, Head of Ukrainian Mine Action Center, put it as high as 11 million speaking at the Minsk International landmines Conference in March 2000. Informal estimates have put the number of PFMs close to nine million and an additional one million for PMNs.
[10] Statement by Sergey Pashinskiy, Head of Ukrainian Mine Action Center, Minsk International Landmine Conference, 6-7 March 2000.
[11] Military Parade magazine.
[12] General Volodymyr Vorobiov, Head of the Corps of Engineers, 28 April 1998.
[13] Statement by Colonel M. Mikhailenko, Minsk Landmine Conference.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Government of Canada, DFAIT, “Safe Lane,” #10, Winter 1999-2000; Statement by Sergey Pashinskiy, Head of Ukrainian Mine Action Center, Minsk, 6-7 March 2000.
[17] Statement by Sergey Pashinskiy, Ukrainian Mine Action Center, Minsk, 6-7 March 2000.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Information provided to Landmine Monitor by Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Report of joint meeting of the delegation of Ukraine to NATO and the Political-Military Steering Committee of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council, 11 November 1999.
[22] “Vibuho-tehnichna sluzba,” Militia of Ukraine, #4, April 2000, p. 12.
[23] Vladimir Shirochenko, “The thieves are handing arms to the thieves,”Argumenti I Fakti (newspaper) 20 January 2000.
[24] Report of General Volodymyr Vorobiov, Head of the Corps of Engineers, 28 April 1998.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Statement by Colonel M.Mikhailenko, Minsk Landmine Conference.
[27] Demining Annual Report, The Ministry of Emergency Situations, 1999.
[28] ElVisti analytic group, Doc. # 1084218, November 1999.
[29] “Vibuho-tehnichna sluzba, ” Militia of the Ukraine, # 4, April 2000, p. 12.
[30] Statement by Sergey Pashinskiy, Minsk Landmine Conference.
[31] Statement by Colonel M.Mikhailenko, Minsk Landmine Conference.
[32] Ibid.
[33] “ INTERFAX –UKRAINE” news agency, 22. September 1999.
[34] Statement by Colonel M. Mikhailenko, Conference Minsk, 6-7 March 2000.
[35] Annual Report, UPVA, 1999.
[36] Report of Alexey Vertiy, Head of Ukrainian - Turkish landmines scientific – research laboratory, 18 May 1999.
[37] Alexander Koshchenko, “MAGELLAN” Annual Report, 1999.
[38] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 761, for more details on casualties.
[39] “INTERFAX –UKRAINE”- news agency, 12 October 1999.
[40] After a visit to a Ukrainian center for prosthetic repair for veterans of the war in Afghanistan, by Presidential order all state prosthetics plants should use Otto Bock technology. Tretiy Tost (newspaper), State Department for Veterans Affairs, February 1999.
[41] Uryadoviy Currier (The Government Courier/newspaper), 10 February 2000.
[42] Order of the Government of Ukraine, No. 925, 27 May 1999.
[43] “INTERFAX –UKRAINE”- news agency, 12 October 1999.
[44] Annual Report , Labor and Social Policy Ministry, 1999.
[45] Report of the Ukrainian State Committee for Veterans Affairs, 15 November 1999.
[46] The Order of the President of Ukraine, # 1-14/1736, December 1999.