08 July 2014
Troubling Reports of Landmine Seizures and Use in Eastern Ukraine
Mon-50 anti-personnel mines seized by Ukrainian military. ©glavnoe.ua
According to Ukrainian news reports and other online sources, the Ukrainian military seized MON-100 and MON-50 antipersonnel mines alongside other weapons from pro-Russian separatist forces in the town of Slovyansk on 6 July. These weapons are directional fragmentation mines that can be either command-detonated or victim-activated if fitted with mechanisms like tripwires, breakwires or a seismic controller. Victim-activated mines are banned by the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, but command-detonated devices are not.
Another news report stated that Ukrainian military engineers have removed 700 landmines from in and around Slovyansk in recent days, though the specific type of mine was not specified and circumstances surrounding their use remains unclear.
The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty bans the use of antipersonnel landmines under any circumstances, as well as their stockpiling, production, and transfer. Ukraine signed the treaty in 1999 and became a State Party to the treaty in 2006. Russia has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty.
Last month, Ukraine accused Russian forces of laying both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in Ukraine and stated that the government of Ukraine has not used landmines in the conflict.
The ICBL strongly urges all parties to the conflict to ensure no antipersonnel mines are used by any actor and to destroy any antipersonnel mines they have seized or otherwise acquired.