Since escalation of the war on 24 February 2022, the UN has verified 879 casualties from landmines and unexploded remnants of war, including 94 child casualties. More than 500 children have been killed in total during the war, according to UN figures, altgough the actual number is likely to be much higher.
Most of the land in Ukraine pockmarked by mines, unexploded ordnances (UXO) and explosive devices (IEDs) is in the east and south of the country, near the frontline. Contaminated land in Ukraine has risen tenfold since February last year, to around 180,00 square kms – an area equal to Florida in the US or half of Germany. Floodwaters snaking through settlements in eastern Ukraine threaten to widen this deadly expanse, and some landmines could move kilometres in the days and weeks ahead.
Following the destruction of Kakhovka dam, along with the challenge of finding safe, clean drinking water and repairing damaged homes, the 17,000 people living in the flood zone and along the Dnipro River now face the added difficulty of keeping children safe from floating landmines.