Categories: World

Exclusive CNN: Farmers in Ukraine have to dig up mines to plant

Exclusive CNN: Farmers in Ukraine have to dig up mines to plant

In Ukraine, farmers have to dig up land mines from fields to start spring planting. Extensive areas of fertile agricultural land are scarred with craters and unexploded rocket warheads.

Even long after Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have left the regions, a deadly threat still remains beneath the surface.

Farmer Oleksandr Havriluk guided Ivan Watson, from CNN during an exclusive report, which can be seen in the video above.

More than 10 anti-tank mines were spotted by the report, which Havriluk says he dug up and left next to the road.

The 69-year-old farmer says he is desperate to plant before spring but cannot do so because of land mines.

Some were found with a metal detector. He dug the ground with his bare hands.

Oleksandr Havriluk says he lost all of last year’s harvest due to the Russian invasion. The fighting also destroyed the site’s headquarters, silos and millions of dollars worth of farm equipment.

Both Russian and Ukrainian militaries use land mines. Some are designed to eliminate 40 ton tanks.

“Removing anti-tank mines is extremely dangerous. They often have anti-lift devices specifically designed to injure and kill people who attempt this,” says Mairi Cunningham of the Halo Trust mine control organisation.

She points out that Ukraine is now littered with a variety of explosive devices. “We are seeing anti-vehicle mines, both made of metal and plastic. There are anti-personnel mines, wire-triggered anti-personnel cluster and link mines, trap-triggered grenades, and also cluster munitions,” she explains.

Ukrainian forces estimate that nearly a third of the country is contaminated with explosive devices. But cleaning them is slow and dangerous work.

Furthermore, the war is still in full swing, filling the fields with new explosives every day.

Ukraine is one of the biggest food producers in the world, and the impossibility or risk of farmers doing their job could lead to an increase in the global price of products.

*published by Tiago Tortella, from CNN

Source: CNN Brasil