The conflict area in Eastern Ukraine, is said to be “one of the most mine-contaminated places on earth.” With larger mines designed to stop tanks and vehicles, anti-personnel mines and improvised explosive devices planted to kill infantry, that’s certainly the case.
latest Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Report lists from April 2014 – Nov 15th 2017 – 91 boys and 47 girls have been killed, with many more injured.
With mines and explosives used by both sides, the front line is an extremely dangerous place for everyone, but especially so for children. Over two hundred thousand live on and near the front line. Schools along the 457 km conflict-line regularly suffer damage from shelling and as the header picture shows, bullets even reach their play grounds (Teacher in Government held Avdiivka holds up shrapnel and bullets found in the playground).
Mine awareness class in Ukraine, given by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD).
Add children’s natural curiosity to the danger mix, then the potential for injury and death is magnified ten-fold. With unexploded munitions littering the area and the large volumes of military operating along the conflict-line, the opportunity to find something that may kill you is all too real.
Playing outside, August 2015, Mykola Nyzhnykovskyi aged 11, found and then stepped on a grenade. He lost both legs, an arm and his four year old brother to the resulting explosion. Read the tragic story of how Mykola became injured and the remarkable story of how a Canadian medical team saved his life.
Like a WW2 rewind, amazing to think children in Europe need to be taught about the dangers of war. To read more about how humanitarian charities and organisations are teaching children about the everyday dangers from mines and explosives, please read this Their World article.