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RUSSIAN FEDERATION, Landmine Monitor Report 2005

Russian Federation

Key developments since May 2004: Russian forces continued to use antipersonnel mines in Chechnya. The rebels who seized the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in September 2004 with disastrous consequences emplaced both antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices throughout the school. Russia for the first time disclosed the number of antipersonnel mines in its stockpile is 26.5 million, of which 23.5 million are subject to destruction by 2015. Approximately 19.5 million antipersonnel mines were destroyed or disposed of between 2000 and November 2004. Russia is planning to spend some 3.33 billion rubles (US$116 million) for new engineer munitions, including alternatives to antipersonnel mines, from 2005 to 2015. Russia ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 2 March 2005. According to media reports, in 2004 the Russian National Corps of Emergency Humanitarian Operations cleared more than 30,000 UXO in the Russian Federation; in clearance through July 2004, this included 2,842 landmines. A local commercial company completed a contract to demine the island of Sakhalin of explosive ordnance in December 2004, clearing over 25 million square meters and destroying more than 500 pieces of explosive ordnance.

Mine Ban Policy

The Russian Federation has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Its long-held reservations to joining the treaty include its perception of the utility of antipersonnel mines and the lack of viable alternatives, and the financial difficulties in destroying the country’s considerable stockpile of antipersonnel mines within four years, as required by the treaty.[1 ] In January 2005, Russia told the Conference on Disarmament that a “mine-free world remains our goal. We support in principle the idea of joining the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction. But it can be done only when we find ourselves capable to fulfill our obligations.... Progress towards a mine-free world should be realistic, phased and based on maintaining the necessary level of stability.”[2 ]

Russia did not attend the First Review Conference in Nairobi in November-December 2004. It was absent from meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees in Geneva in June 2004 for the first time since 2000. Russia has abstained since 1996 on each annual UN General Assembly resolution supporting a global ban on antipersonnel landmines and the Mine Ban Treaty, including UNGA Resolution 59/84 on 3 December 2004.

CCW Amended Protocol II

Russia is a State Party of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). After submitting Amended Protocol II to the State Duma in May 2000, Russia finally ratified it on 2 March 2005. Amended Protocol II entered into force for Russia on 2 September 2005.[3 ] Russia exercised the option to defer for nine years compliance with Amended Protocol II’s requirements for self-destruction and self-deactivation of remotely delivered antipersonnel mines and for detectability of low metal content antipersonnel mines.[4]

At the parliamentary hearings on the ratification of the protocol, Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov stated that Russia “fully complied” with the provisions of the protocol between 2000 and 2004. He said ratification “meets the interests of [Russia] and doesn’t undermine its national security...It will let us carry out disposal of outdated landmines at a minimal expense and obtain more modern engineer munitions.” He also admitted that “effective national defense based on [antipersonnel] mines will never be possible.”[5 ] According to a Foreign Ministry official, Amended Protocol II remains a “sufficiently effective mechanism of ‘reconciling’ humanitarian and military interests, making the conduct of combat actions more humane and reducing the number of innocent victims and their sufferings.”[6]

Russia submitted a series of declarations with its ratification instrument that will guide its national implementation of Amended Protocol II. With respect to Article 3, subparagraph 10 (c)—which deals with possible use of alternatives to mines as a precaution to protect civilians from the effects of mines—the Russian Federation understands “alternatives” to mean “non-flying devices and technologies, which are not antipersonnel mines and may temporarily disable, paralyse or indicate the presence of one or several persons without causing irreversible harm to them.”[7 ]

With respect to Article 5, subparagraph 2 (a)—which requires that non-remotely-delivered antipersonnel mines be placed within a perimeter-marked area—Russia declares, “The line of the State border designated in the locality may be considered as the marking (designation) of part of the perimeter of a mined area within the border zone when there are active and repeated attempts to traverse it by armed intruders or when military, economic, physical and geographic, or other conditions make it impossible to use armed forces. The civilian population will be informed in good time about the danger of the mines and will not be allowed into the mined area.”[8]

Implementation of Amended Protocol II will require amendments to federal legislation that will establish administrative and criminal liability for violations of its provisions.[9 ] The cost of implementation of Amended Protocol II, budgeted at RUB3.33 billion (about US$116 million)[10 ]will be covered by the federal budget and consists of two main components. Research and development of new engineer munitions, including alternatives to antipersonnel mines, is budgeted at RUB790 million ($27.41 million), of which one-third has been spent in previous years. Production of those munitions, and maintenance of the new stockpiles, is budgeted at RUB2.54 billion ($88.14 million) during the next 10 years.[11]

Production and Transfer

Russia has produced at least 10 types of antipersonnel mines since 1992, including blast mines (PMN, PMN-2, PMN-4 and PFM-1S) and fragmentation mines (POMZ-2, OZM-72, MON-50, MON-90, MON-100 and MON-200). Russia has stated that it stopped production of blast mines in 1997.[12]

The Russian Federation has been conducting research on modifications to existing landmines, development of new landmines, and alternatives to landmines since at least 1997.[13 ] Russia continues to budget for research, development and production of new engineer munitions, including alternatives to antipersonnel mines.[14]

Russia has had a moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines that are not detectable or not equipped with self-destruction devices since 1 December 1994. The moratorium formally expired on 1 December 2002, but Russian officials have stated repeatedly that it is still being observed. Most recently, in November 2004, the Defense Minister said that Russia is abiding by the moratorium on the export and transfer of antipersonnel mines that fall under the restrictions of Amended Protocol II.[15 ] Russia is not known to have made any state-approved transfers of any type of antipersonnel mines since 1994.

Stockpiling and Destruction

In November 2004, the Minister of Defense revealed that Russia had 26.5 million antipersonnel mines in stock. This was the first time Russia has released official information on the number of antipersonnel mines in its stockpiles. The Minister stated that in 2000 Russia retained 46 million antipersonnel mines, but had destroyed or disposed of about 19.5 million of them between 2000 and November 2004.[16 ]

The Minister further said that approximately 23.5 million of the remaining 26.5 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines were subject to destruction or disposal between 2005 and 2015. He noted that Russia spends some RUB150-180 million per year ($5-$6 million) on the disposal of outdated antipersonnel mines and those mines falling under the restrictions of Amended Protocol II.[17 ]

Landmine Monitor initially estimated that Russia possessed a stockpile of 60-70 million antipersonnel mines, the world’s second largest.[18 ] After Russia reported that it had destroyed 16.8 million antipersonnel mines from 1996 to 2002, Landmine Monitor reduced its estimate of Russia’s stockpile to 50 million antipersonnel mines in 2003.

Russian officials have acknowledged that Russian military units in other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, such as Tajikistan and Georgia (Abkhazia), maintain antipersonnel mine stockpiles. In February 2003, Tajikistan, which is party to the Mine Ban Treaty, officially declared that Russian forces stockpile 18,200 antipersonnel mines on Tajik territory and that bilateral negotiations concerning the disposition of these stockpiles were ongoing.[19 ]


Russia has used mines on a regular basis since 1999, primarily in Chechnya, but also at times in Dagestan, Tajikistan, and on the border with Georgia. Russia has generally argued that its mine usage has been necessary to stop the flow of terrorists, weapons and drugs, and has been in full compliance with CCW Amended Protocol II.[20 ]

On 1 September 2004, a terrorist group of at least 32 persons seized a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, taking 1,128 hostages.[21 ]The hostage-takers emplaced both antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout the school, including a gymnasium crowded with over 1,000 children and their parents. Various sources have indicated that the mines used included PMN blast mines and MON-50, MON-100, OZM-72 and POMZ fragmentation mines.[22 ] At least 127 IEDs with makeshift shrapnel (screws, nuts, bolts, etc.) were reportedly laid in the school, some in command-detonated mode and some with pressure or tripwire fuzes.[23 ] IEDs, including at least two hung from the gymnasium ceiling, and mines were connected with detonation wires to make an integrated explosion chain.[24 ] Apparently an inadvertent first explosion caused a chain of detonations and collapsed the gymnasium ceiling, killing and injuring many.[25]

According to data released by Valeriy Federov, a member of the parliamentary commission investigating the Beslan events, 330 people were killed as a result of the seizure of the school, the IED and mine explosions, and the subsequent siege of the school. The dead included 186 children.[26] At least 727 hostages were injured, most of them from mine and IED explosions and the collapse of the ceiling.[27 ] Afterward, Russian explosive ordnance disposal teams located and destroyed approximately 70 antipersonnel mines and a 50-kilogram IED.

In Chechnya, both sides continued to use antipersonnel mines during this Landmine Monitor reporting period. However, the Ministry of Interior Affairs reported that the number of losses among Interior Forces personnel due to mine incidents from January to March 2004 fell by half, as compared to the same period in 2003.[28 ] (See the Chechnya report in this edition of Landmine Monitor).

Russian forces have used mines extensively in Chechnya since the renewal of armed conflict in September 1999. Federal troops have laid mines around and leading up to bases, checkpoints, commanders’ offices, government buildings, factories and power plants; on roads and mountain paths in the rebel-dominated south; in fields running from Grozny to Alkhan-Kalu; in the estuary of the River Sunzha; along various borders.[29 ] Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that all minefields are mapped, marked, and removed when troops relocate.[30 ] These assertions have been contradicted by statements from both civilians and military officers.

In addition to Chechnya, there appears to have been a considerable increase in rebel mine attacks in Dagestan, especially in May-June 2005. According to the Minister of Interior of Dagestan, Lieutenant-General Adilgerei Magomedtagirov, 58 terrorist acts (bombings) have been committed in Dagestan since the beginning of 2005, 40 of them committed in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.[31 ]

Landmine and ERW Problem

The Russian Federation and other countries making up the former Soviet Union were heavily contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) as a result of World War II. Large quantities of UXO have been removed annually since 1946. This mine/UXO contamination, together with substantial quantities of abandoned munitions in some areas, results in Russia having a considerable mine/ERW (explosive remnants of war) problem.[32]

Mines and UXO remain a major problem in Chechnya due to their continued use by both sides in the conflict.[33 ] Over the past three years, mine incidents have also been reported in other republics, notably Ingushetia,[34 ]Dagestan[35 ]and North Ossetia.[36 ]

Explosive remnants of war, including abandoned ordnance, remain an acute problem in Dagestan, specifically in Novolaksk, Botlikh and Buynaks districts, which were scenes of combat in 1999. More than 1,500 unexploded artillery and mortar shells, an unknown number of landmines, eight 500-kilogram and ten 250-kilogram bombs are said to have been cleared. In Novolaksk district, 860 hectares of the most fertile land remains unused due to the risks posed by ERW. Local authorities claim that complete clearance of ERW in these areas will take a further five to six years.[37 ]

Mine Action Coordination and Planning

Mine clearance remains the responsibility of three governmental bodies: the Engineer Forces (Ministry of Defense or MoD); demining brigades of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Russian National Corps of Emergency Humanitarian Operations (Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Resources). The Russian National Corps deals mainly with unexploded aircraft bombs. Main responsibility for mine clearance lies with the MoD Engineer Forces.[38 ]

Non-governmental enterprises also conduct demining activities, such as the Uniexpl and Fort companies in Moscow and the Iskatel company in St. Petersburg. Employees of these companies are mainly retired officers of MoD Engineer Forces.[39 ]

It has not been revealed how the Russian authorities prioritize and plan mine/ERW clearance, or how they store and use relevant data. The division of responsibilities between planned clearance and response activities such as explosive ordnance disposal, and between state and private clearance capacities, has not been reported.

In 2004, Landmine Monitor reported that estimates of the time needed to deal with the mine/ERW problem have lengthened in recent years, from 10-15 years in 1998, to 15-20 years in 2003. The latter estimate required that “all means and resources are utilized.”[40]

Official statistics of demining accidents are not publicly available. Information on mine accidents and incidents is occasionally reported in the media. In 2004, no demining accidents were reported during clearance of ERW from World War II battlefields in the Russian Federation, with the exception of Chechnya.

Quality assurance is the responsibility of the three government bodies responsible for mine clearance.[41]

Survey and Assessment

No information has been obtained of any surveys of mined areas in the Russian Federation taking place during the reporting period. The ERW-contamination in former World War II battlefields in parts of Russia was subject to survey and assessments in previous decades. Areas contaminated with antipersonnel mines and UXO are generally well known, including the regions of Pskov, Novgorod, Leningrad,[42 ]Moscow and Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). One Russian official stated that tens of thousands of pieces of World War II ordnance are removed from Russian territory annually,[43 ]while another put the figure at 100,000.[44 ]

Mine and ERW Clearance

Media reports claimed variously that in 2004, the total number of UXO cleared by the Russian National Corps in the Russian Federation reached 35,000[45] or 33,304.[46] This included at least 2,224 ERW near Luga village in the Smolensk region alone.[47] In the Novgorod region, 3,818 ERW, including 23 aircraft bombs, were cleared by demining teams of the Russian National Corps in January to August 2005.[48] According to the website of the Corps, clearance in 2004 through July included 2,842 landmines.[49]

Engineers from the Corps also conducted clearance of the Rzhev range near St. Petersburg and Tuters Island in the Finnish Bay on the Baltic Sea.[50 ] Joint clearance operations were said to have been carried out on 10 August to 1 September 2005 with military engineers of the Leningrad military district and Swedish Rescue Services Agency (SRSA). More than 200,000 square meters of Tuters Island was surveyed and 30,399 explosive objects were detected and cleared. According to media reports, six fortifications located quite deeply under the surface are to be further surveyed by joint demining teams in 2006.[51] SRSA claims that the survey and clearance project was funded by Swedish SIDA with some SEK1.9 million ($258,574).[52]

Media reports claim that from January through September 2004, military engineers of the Leningrad Military district cleared 16,295 ERW in the northwestern federal region.[53 ] From July to September 2004 alone, the demining teams cleared 7,116 ERW, including 3,910 artillery projectiles, 1,638 mortar shells, 741 landmines, 358 anti-aircraft projectiles, and 182 hand grenades.[54]

In the first eight months of 2005, according to the press service of the Leningrad Military District, 16 demining teams totaling more than 40 military engineers cleared 18,365 explosive devices, including 708 in St. Petersburg and its vicinity. Most ERW were detected and cleared in Leningrad and Pskov regions.[55 ]

Also in 2005, military engineers of the Siberian Military District were continuing to clear artillery depots near the Gusinoye Ozero settlement in Buryatiya. The depots were set on fire by lightning in 2001, and the resulting detonations spread artillery projectiles over a radius of up to 30 kilometers. Over the last four years, the local population has been collecting scrap metal from unexploded munitions in the area, resulting in the deaths of five people, including three children. It was estimated in July that clearance of the area would continue until the end of 2005 and cost a total of RUB60 million ($2.08 million).[56]

There have also been media reports of disposal of recent explosive devices, particularly in the Northern Caucasus region. According to remarks attributed to Arkadiy Yedelev, Chief of the Regional Operational Staff for the Counter-Terrorist Operation in the Northern Caucasus, in January to August 2005, some 1,143 caches with explosive ordnance were located and destroyed, and more than 600 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detected and cleared, and 162 mine attacks prevented.[57 ] Other reports on the proliferation of explosives in the Russian Federation come from the Federal Security Service in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, where they confiscated 640 kilograms of explosives and 15 ready-to-use explosive devices and cleared three emplaced IEDs during 2004.[58]

In June 2004, engineers from the National Corps took a training course in Spain, at the International Demining Center of the Military Engineer Academy. The course aimed to teach safe methods of demining in accordance with NATO standards. It is planned to integrate these methods into the demining practices of the Corps.[59]

In 2002, the Russian Uniexpl commercial demining company, in affiliation with the British-based consortium European Landmine Solutions, won an international tender to clear the island of Sakhalin of explosive ordnance. From 2002 to December 2004, Uniexpl deminers cleared over 25 million square meters, destroying more than 500 pieces of explosive ordnance. Uniexpl reports that the operation was carried out in full compliance with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and without casualties.[60 ]

In view of increased terrorist activity and casualties during the clearance of IEDs, several groups in Russia started to develop high-tech demining machinery. In September 2004, specialists at the South Ural State University in Chelyabinsk region and the Kalibr Scientific Industrial Complex designed a high-tech demining robot, Bogomol-3. The robot is to be supplied to demining units of the Federal Security Service, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense.[61 ] In November 2004, the Kovrov Electro-Mechanical Plant started the production of the Varan demining robot, which was designed by specialists from Russia’s leading technical school, Bauman State Technical University, for safe clearance of landmines, IEDs and other explosive ordnance.[62]

Mine Risk Education[63 ]

Mine risk education (MRE) in the Russian Federation has been incorporated increasingly within more general information campaigns advising people how to minimize the risks from terrorist attacks. In the Soviet era, MRE was given to children and adults in mine-affected areas.[64]

In February 2004, the Russian-based Foundation for Effective Policies launched an internet project, the National Portal for Counteracting Terrorism, Antiterror.Ru, to provide the general public with comprehensive information on how to ensure personal safety in mined and terrorist environments. The project gives special attention to the safety of children, with a section for schoolteachers that informs them how best to prevent children from injury from various hazards, including mines and explosive ordnance.[65]

Specialists from Chelyabinsk Technical University conducted pilot MRE courses in a Chelyabinsk school in April 2005, after studying the protection of city schools in Israel from terrorist attack. The project seeks to provide teachers and students with information on how to protect themselves; if successful, it may be extended to all schools in Chelyabinsk.[66]

In 2005, military engineers from the MoD conducted a number of MRE courses in St. Petersburg.[67]

Funding and Assistance

No information is available on how much Russia spent in 2004 on clearance, nor on any funding or assistance received by Russia.

In 2004-2005, Russia provided practical assistance to some of its neighbors. Russian engineering forces were deployed in February 2004 to demine and remove abandoned explosive ordnance at the former Russian ammunition depot in Sagarejo, western Georgia, prior to handing over the site to Georgian authorities in 2006.[68 ] In 2005, Russian engineers carried out survey and demining of the railway between Ochamchira (Abkhazia) and Zugdidi (Georgia). On 2 July 2005, it was agreed to carry out a joint mine survey of the Psou-Ingur area in order to allow a railway connection between Russia and Georgia through Abkhazian territory.[69 ]

Mine/ERW Casualties

There is no comprehensive official information on mine/ERW casualties in Russia. However, casualties continue to be reported in parts of the Russian Federation, particularly in Chechnya, and in other areas as a result of mines and ERW. In 2004, more than 400 new mine/UXO/IED casualties were reported in Chechnya. (See Chechnya report in this edition of Landmine Monitor for more information.) In August 2004, four special forces’ officers were injured when their armored military truck exploded on a remote-controlled landmine near a special forces base in Makhachkala in Dagestan.[70 ] In Georgia on 31 August 2004, a Russian peacekeeper was reportedly killed in a landmine explosion in the South Ossetia region.[71 ]

In July 2005, two people were killed after a World War II landmine exploded near the city of Volgograd.[72 ]

The total number of casualties in Russia over time is not known, but there are believed to be significant numbers of survivors from casualties caused by mines and UXO left from World War II, the 1980s war with Afghanistan and the conflict in Chechnya. From 1999 to December 2003, more than 2,500 mine casualties, including at least 600 killed and 1,700 injured, were recorded amongst Russian federal forces in Chechnya.[73 ] According to the Dagestan Ministry of Civil Defense, since 1999 UXO has killed 28 and injured 115 local residents in the Botlikh district alone.[74]

On 9 April 2005, two Russian tourists were injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in Nepal.[75]

Survivor Assistance and Disability Policy and Practice[76]

Russian military medical practice has accumulated much experience in the treatment of blast injuries, and medical, surgical, prosthetic, rehabilitation and reintegration services are available for landmine survivors in Russia. Medical assistance is also provided by the Zaschita (Protection) All-Russian Center of Catastrophe Medicine, including mobile hospitals in Chechnya, under the Russian Federation Ministry of Health.

The International Institute for the Prosthetic Rehabilitation of Landmine Survivors and its Russian partner, the St. Petersburg Institute of Prosthetics, also assist mine survivors with surgical and rehabilitation assistance, vocational training and socioeconomic reintegration.

The All-Russian Public National Military Foundation focuses its efforts on the support of military personnel injured in Chechnya.

Many international agencies and local and international NGOs are working to strengthen the health infrastructure in Ingushetia and other regions of the Northern Caucasus. (See Chechnya report for more information on survivor assistance).

The International Complex Program on the Rehabilitation of War Veterans, Participants of Local Conflicts, and Victims of Terrorism for 2001-2005 supports war veterans and veterans’ organizations in about 17 countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. As of 23 August 2004, 276,914 people had received assistance under the program at a total cost of $1.7 million; 3,640 people received medical rehabilitation, 1,370 received prostheses, 9,765 received other rehabilitation support, and 649 received wheelchairs. Medicines and medical aid were provided to more than 260,000 people. In addition, 460 disabled veterans received vocational training in the fields of economics, management and marketing, and 20 research studies were conducted in medico-social rehabilitation.[77 ]

However, the available assistance and rehabilitation services are inadequate to meet needs. Every year about 25,000 former military personnel are recognized as disabled, 16 percent of them as the result of combat trauma. According to the All-Russian Public Organizations of Disabled Veterans of the Afghan War, 50 percent of respondents do not have enough money to support their daily needs, 91 percent face problems in employment, 88 percent had not received any vocational retraining, and 91 percent did not receive any financial subsidies or compensation. About half had not received hospital or sanatorium treatment since being disabled.[78 ] The situation has reportedly worsened considerably since the adoption on 4 August 2004 of the Law on Monetary Benefits, which entered into force on 1 January 2005 and replaces various benefits for the disabled with financial compensation. According to Nikolai Ryzhkov, member of the State Duma, the law will adversely affect the most vulnerable layers of the Russian society.[79]

The rights of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities are protected under the 1995 Federal Law on Social Security of Disabled. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is responsible for all disability issues.

[1 ]See, for example, Vladimir P. Kuznetsov, “Ottawa Process and Russia’s Position,” Krasnaya Zvezda Daily, 27 November 1997; Maj. Gen. Alexander Averchenko, Ministry of Defense, “Making the Ottawa Convention a Reality: Military Implications,” in proceedings of the Regional Conference on Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War, organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Moscow, 4 November 2002, pp. 43-49. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 835-836.

[2 ]Statement by Amb. Leonid Skotnikov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 27 January 2005.

[3 ]Russia attended the Sixth Annual Meeting of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in November 2004, as an observer.

[4] Declaration submitted with ratification to the UN, http://untreaty.un.org, accessed 20 July 2005.

[5 ]Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings on ratification of Amended Protocol II, Moscow, 23 November 2004.

[6] Statement by Sergei Kislyak, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, parliamentary hearings on ratification of Amended Protocol II, 23 November 2004.

[7 ]Declarations submitted with ratification to the UN, http://untreaty.un.org, accessed 20 July 2005.

[8] Other declarations include understanding of cultural property and the availability of mine detection equipment. Declarations submitted with ratification to the UN, http://untreaty.un.org, accessed on 20 July 2005.

[9 ]Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings, 23 November 2004.

[10 ]Average exchange rate for 2004: US$1 = RUB28.8170, Landmine Monitor estimate based on

[11] Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings on ratification of Amended Protocol II, 23 November 2004.

[12] Statement by Russia, Third Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II, 10 December 2001. In January 2005, Russia said it had not developed, produced or supplied to its Armed Forces blast mines for more than nine years. Statement by Amb. Leonid Skotnikov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 27 January 2005.

[13 ]Maj. Gen. Alexander Averchenko, “Traditional and New Tasks,” Amreysky Sbornik Magazine, No. 1, 1997.

[14] Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings, 23 November 2004.

[15 ]Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings, 23 November 2004.

[16 ]Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings, 23 November 2004. As noted in previous editions of Landmine Monitor Report, Russian officials have given different totals for destroyed stocks. In January 2005, an official said over seven million stockpiled antipersonnel mines had been destroyed. Statement by Amb. Leonid Skotnikov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 27 January 2005.

[17 ]Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings, 23 November 2004.

[18 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 805-806, 809. Landmine Monitor based the original estimate on a published report in the Russian military trade press, and interviews with Russian Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry officials, as well as knowledgeable officials from other governments. It is possible that the original estimate may have been based on total holdings in the former Soviet Union, and not just the Russian Federation. Mine Ban Treaty States Parties Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and signatory Ukraine, collectively inherited 17.7 million antipersonnel mines from the former Soviet Union. That total is derived from State Party Article 7 reports and Ukraine’s voluntary declaration.

[19 ]Tajikistan Article 7 Report, Form B, 3 February 2003.

[20 ]See for example the statement by Amb. Anatoly Antonov to the CCW Group of Governmental Experts, “On the Landmines Other Than Antipersonnel Mines (MOTAPM),” Geneva, 18 November 2003.

[21 ]In a letter published on the internet, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility. “Excerpts: Basayev claims Beslan,” BBC News, 17 September 2004.

[22 ]Many types of mines could be clearly seen in television footage of the event.

[23 ]Testimonies of the hostages given to a number of mass media sources. For example: “127 Home-made Explosives Laid in Beslan School,” Novosti Rossii, 9 September 2004; Kommersant (daily), #169, 11 September 2004 ; Andrei Medeveded, “The Forced Siege,” Vesti TV news, 3 September 2004.

[24 ]Andrei Chistyakov, “The Former Hostage Says the Gymnasium was Mined in the First Place,” Vesti TV news, 3 September 2004.

[25] Kommersant (daily), #169, 11 September 2004. Some of the surviving hostages said the terrorists made a child in the gymnasium stand on a pressure-release fuze connected to an IED and the first explosion happened after the child stepped off the pressure-release fuse because of fatigue. Others said the first explosion happened when the terrorists were rearranging the set of mines.

[26] Interfax news agency interview with Valeriy Federov, 14 March 2005.

[27 ]Report of the General Prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov to President Vladimir Putin, cited by Interfax news agency and Rossiyskaya Gazeta (daily), 9 September 2004.

[28 ]Information provided to Landmine Monitor by sources in the Ministry of Defense.

[29 ]See past editions of Landmine Monitor.

[30 ]See for example report of Deputy Chief of the Military Engineering University, Maj. Gen. A. Nizhalovskii, during a virtual roundtable discussion of engineer equipment in military operations in Chechnya. Armeyskiy sbornik (Army collection), No. 6, June 2000, pp. 35-40.

[31 ]Report by RIA-Novosti information agency, 4 July 2005, http://lenta.ru/news/2005/07/04/makhachkala.

[32] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1100.

[33 ]See the report on Chechnya in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[34 ]“Death Toll from Truck Explosion in Ingushetia Reaches Five,” Interfax, 30 July 2003.

[35 ]“Military truck explodes on land mine in southern Russia, injuring four,” Associated Press, 23 August 2004.

[36 ]“Police bus hits land mine in South, three officers killed,” St. Petersburg Times, 19 June 2003.

[37 ]Musa Musaev, “How to Prevent Unknown Threat,” Severnyi Kavkaz (regional newspaper, north Caucasus), #17, 27 April 2004, http://sknews.ru/arc/_SK/2004/18/nomer/crim.htm.

[38 ]Presidential Decree #1010 of 13 November 1995, “On Russian National Corps for Emergency Humanitarian Operations.”

[39 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1101.

[40] IPPNW-Russia, “Materials of the First International Conference on APMs in Russia-CIS, 27-28 May 1998,” Moscow, 1998, p. 30; presentation by Russian Ministry of Defense to anti-terrorism meeting, April 2003.

[41] Presidential Decree #1010 of 13 November 1995, “On Russian National Corps for Emergency Humanitarian Operations.”

[42 ]The city of Leningrad was renamed St. Petersburg but the region that includes the city is still called Leningrad.

[43 ]Statement of Alexander Konuzin, UN Security Council, New York, 13 November 2003.

[44 ]Statement of Amb. Anatoly Antonov, Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II to the CCW, Geneva, 26 November 2003.

[45] “During 2004, 175 emergency situations were recorded in the North-West of Russia,” Regnum news agency, 21 December 2004, www.regnum.ru/news/379802.html.

[46] “29,500 people died in Russia in the result of emergency situations and catastrophes,” RIA-Novosti, 6 December 2004, http://rian.ru/incidents/20041206/752129.html.

[47] “A good harvest was collected in the Roslavl district of the Smolensk region,” Regnum, 25 October 2004, www.regnum.ru/news/348218.html.

[48] “Artillery projectiles of WWII were found in the Novgorod region,” RIA-Novosti, 7 September 2005, http://rian.ru/incidents/20050907/41327220.html.

[49] Data accessed at the internet site of the Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Resources, www.mchs.gov.ru/print.html?fid=1092920817730730&cid=.

[50 ]Data from the website of the Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Resources www.mchs.gov.ru, accessed 29 August 2005.

[51] “Mine clearance of the Bolshoi Tuters island in the Finnish Bay completed,” RIA-Novosti, 1 September 2005, http://rian.ru/defense_safety/20050901/41267477.html; see also “Sappers of the Leningrad Military District have cleared more than 18,000 explosive remnants of WWII since the beginning of the year,” MoD Press Service release, 6 September 2005, www.mil.ru/releases/2005/09/060825_10896.shtml.

[52] Information provided by Rickard Hartmann, Head of Mine Action, SRSA, Geneva, 20 September 2005. Average Foreign Exchange Rates for 2004, www.federalreserve.gov/release: US$1 = SEK7.348. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2005.

[53 ]“More than 7,000 explosive objects surveyed and cleared by military engineers in the third quarter of 2004,” Regnum, 5 October 2004, www.regnum.ru/news/336340.html.

[54] “More than 7,000 explosive objects surveyed and cleared by military engineers in the third quarter of 2004,” Regnum, 5 October 2004, www.regnum.ru/news/336340.html.

[55 ]“Sappers of the Leningrad Military District has cleared more than 18,000 explosive remnants of WWII since the beginning of the year,” MoD Press release, 6 September 2005, www.mil.ru/

[56] “The territory of exploded artillery depots in Buryatiya will be cleared by the end of the year,” Regnum, 12 July 2005, www.regnum.ru/news/482842.html.

[57 ]“231 rebels eliminated in Chechnya since the beginning of 2005,” RIA-Novosti, 12 September 12 2005, http://rian.ru/defense_safety/20050912/41373323.html.

[58] “More than 640 kilos of explosives confiscated in St. Petersburg and Leningrad regions since the beginning of the year,” Regnum, 17 December 2004, www.regnum.ru/news/378073.html.

[59] “Engineers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Disasters and Catastrophes take training course in Madrid,” 1 June 2004, www.mchs.gov.ru/print.html?fid=1086083908053013&cid.

[60 ]Uniexpl demining activities chart, www.uniexpl.com/menu2.htm, accessed on 29 August 2005.

[61 ]“A unique robotic sapper has been developed in Chelyabinsk,” Interfax-Urals news agency, 1 September 2004, http://mfit.ru/defensive/pub_avn/pub_1862.html.

[62] “The Kovrov Electro-Mechanical Plant started mass production of mine clearance robots,” Interfax, 9 November 2004, http://mfit.ru/defensive/pub_avn/pub_1923.html.

[63 ]For MRE in Chechnya and north Caucasus, see the report on Chechnya in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[64] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 738.

[65] See www.antiterror.ru.

[66] “Lessons Against Terrorist Attacks,” article on the Chelyabinsk.Ru socio-political portal, 5 April 2005.

[67] “Sappers of the Leningrad Military District has cleared more than 18,000 explosive remnants of WWII since the beginning of the year,” MoD Press release, 6 September 2005, www.mil.ru/releases

[68 ]“Russian Servicemen to Clear Mines in Georgia,” Interfax (Tbilisi), 27 February 2004; interview with Konstantine Gabashvili, Chairman, Georgian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, Tbilisi, 24 May 2005. See also the report on Georgia in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[69 ]“Kavkazskiy uzel,” information agency, 5 July 2005, www.peacekeeper.ru.

[70 ]“Military truck explodes on land mine in southern Russia, injuring four,” Associated Press (Makhachkala), 23 August 2004.

[71 ]“Two Reported Dead After Georgia Land Mine Explosion,” Associated Press (Tbilisi), 31 August 2004.

[72 ]“World War II landmine explosion leaves two dead in Russia,” Agence France-Presse (Moscow), 3 July 2005.

[73 ]For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1104.

[74] Musa Musaev, “How to Prevent Unknown Threat,” available in Russian at

[75] “Nepal landmine blasts kill 6, injures 28, including 2 Russians,” PTI (Kathmandu), 10 April 2005.

[76] For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1105-1106; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 907-908.

[77 ]Letter to Landmine Monitor (IPPNW-Russia) from Prof. Galina Z. Demchenkova, Doctor of Medical Science, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for War Veterans Affairs under the CIS Council of Heads of Governments, 24 August 2004.

[78 ]Vladimir Kovalkov, “Functionaries’ “Care” about the Invalids of Combat Actions,” Nezavisimoye Voennoye Obozreniye, #25 (434), 8 July 2004, http://nvo.ng.ru/wars/2004-12-03/1_care.html.

[79] Rossbalt information agency, 3 December 2004, www.rosbalt.ru/2004/12/4/187935.html.