Ukrainian doctor says mines are a major cause of soldier injuries, second only to artillery.

Ukrainian doctor says mines are a major cause of soldier injuries, second only to artillery.

Ukraine’s Soldiers Face the Dangerous Challenge of Mines on the Frontline

Minefields in Ukraine

In the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, mines have emerged as the second-most-frequent cause of injury for Ukrainian soldiers. The dense minefields laid by Russia’s forces are proving to be a major obstacle for Ukraine, hindering their efforts to regain control of the territory. Ukrainian soldiers find themselves in a slow and desperate struggle as they navigate through this treacherous terrain.

According to Serhiy Ryzhenko, the chief medical officer at the Mechnikov hospital in Dnipro, mines rank second only to artillery as a cause of injuries for soldiers. Each day, the hospital receives between 50 to 100 seriously wounded soldiers, with a significant portion of them injured by mines. Ryzhenko revealed that out of the 21,000 soldiers treated at the hospital, 2,000 have lost limbs due to mine explosions. The scale and impact of these injuries highlight the severity of the situation.

The east of Ukraine is now heavily strewn with minefields laid by Russia. Ukrainian officials have described the density of these minefields as “insane.” This formidable defense tactic makes it extremely challenging for Ukraine’s counteroffensive to make progress and reclaim the territory. Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, even stated that Ukraine has become the most heavily mined country in the world. To address this urgent issue, Ukraine is seeking support from its allies in acquiring more equipment for mine clearance.

The density of the minefields has forced Ukrainian soldiers to resort to advancing on foot in some regions, abandoning their Western-supplied tanks. Additionally, due to a shortage of advanced de-mining equipment, some have resorted to the dangerous task of manually clearing the mines. This situation paints a stark picture of the risks and limitations faced by Ukrainian soldiers as they combat the mine threat.

Doctors in Ukraine’s southern region have reported that they are treating numerous injuries caused by mines and shrapnel, while gunshot wounds are relatively rare during the current counteroffensive. The hazardous conditions created by the mines have resulted in soldiers being injured while attempting to reach their comrades who were already struck by other mines. This vicious cycle of mine explosions underscores the deadly nature of this hidden threat.

The challenges are further emphasized by a report from Sky News, where Ukrainian soldiers describe the harrowing scenario of locating mines with metal detectors while being under constant shelling and gunfire from Russian forces. These first-hand accounts highlight the immense pressure and danger faced by Ukrainian soldiers as they navigate these minefields.

Experts have noted that Russia’s ability to establish such strong defenses, including extensive minefields, is partly attributed to delays in Western countries providing weapons to Ukraine. These delays prolonged the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, allowing Russia to fortify its positions. Despite possessing skilled sappers, Ukraine lacks the necessary resources to effectively deal with the vast number of mines.

To address this critical issue, some of Ukraine’s European allies have stepped up to offer training and equipment for mine clearance. However, Ukraine still requires additional support from its allies to effectively tackle the mine problem. The Guardian reported an incident where two sappers in a Ukrainian unit lost their feet in separate mine explosions within a two-week period. Such incidents highlight the urgency and risks that Ukrainian soldiers face.

The presence of extensive minefields in Ukraine poses a grave threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s soldiers. As they continue their battle against these hidden dangers, it is imperative that Ukraine receives the necessary assistance and resources from its allies to effectively clear the mines and ensure the safety of its troops. The urgency of this situation cannot be understated, and international support is vital in addressing this life-threatening challenge.