Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Russian forces are using banned anti-personnel mines to cover its tactical retreat

  • Russian forces are using banned anti-personnel mines to cover its tactical retreat in Ukraine, according to Human Rights Watch.
  • Explosive ordnance disposal teams located the anti-personnel mines in the Kharkiv region.
  • The mines are banned under the 1997 International Mine Ban Treaty, which Russia did not sign.

Russian forces are using banned anti-personnel mines to cover its tactical retreat in Ukraine, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal teams located the anti-personnel mines in the country’s eastern Kharkiv region on Monday, the report said.

According to Human Rights Watch, the deadly POM-3 mines can injure people up to 50 feet away. The mines — which the group said “indiscriminately kill and maim” — are not used by the Ukrainian military and have reportedly been rigged to self-destruct if not activated over a period of time.

Russia — and the US — did not agree to the 1997 international Mine Ban Treaty. Ukraine signed the treaty in 1999 and became a state party in 2005.

Earlier in March, an official from the International Red Cross accused Russia of placing landmines along proposed humanitarian evacuation corridors outside of the southern port city of Mariupol.

Russia’s use of mines indicates they have “gone over to the defensive,” military scholar Frederick Kagan wrote in report for the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.

The recent discovery of anti-personnel mines comes as Russia claimed it would scale back its assault near Kyiv, after saying it would redirect troops to the eastern Donbas region.

But the Pentagon expressed deep skepticism and said any Russian troop movement is likely a repositioning, not a withdrawal.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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