The target area is that of Irpin and Boutcha, suburbs northwest of kyiv hard hit by the fighting. This is where dozens of people were executed, according to the Ukrainians, just before the Russians left. In Irpin, 400 civilians lost their lives in the crossfire. This is where the Ukrainians stopped the Russian invasion to the capital.
The deminers begin by inspecting a gas station with their detectors. Several of these gas stations were booby-trapped by the Russians. You have to check them all.
Then, on the heights overlooking Irpin, we discover the carcasses of three completely destroyed Russian tanks. From there, the city was systematically bombarded with rockets with a range of up to 10 km.
Mayor Katerina Pachiouk says her priority is to keep people out of potentially dangerous places, including the forest. Deminers must ensure that any remaining munitions cannot explode. The protocol, explains their leader, Olexander, is to mark off 25-meter squares for each deminer and move forward systematically.
The scene is impressive and distressing. Men died instantly during the explosions, literally swept away. Clothes, boots, a hat, scraps of food and drink, and empty liquor bottles are strewn everywhere.
And there are also thebooby traps“,”text”:”booby traps”}}’>booby trapsi.e. traps like unpinned grenades in a dishwasher, in glasses, under stair railings, in sheds,
whatever the Russians can invent in their fantasy says Olexander.
The houses after the occupation
The inhabitants evacuated as soon as the fighting started. Russian soldiers came to live with them. The deminers enter Dima, our collaborator, who returns home for the first time since the invasion. We fear explosive traps.
The trees were crushed by the tanks stationed in the garden. Inside, objects were broken, stolen; the house was left in a terrible state. The deminers found nothing: everything will have to be cleaned and repaired.
Since 1999, the Ottawa convention prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines. They are called the
weapon of cowards. This convention has been signed by 131 countries. A few still haven’t, and not least: China, India, Pakistan, the United States and also Russia.
Do routed soldiers feel authorized to take revenge against the population in this way?
It’s a mysterysays Oleksander.
I can’t get it into my head that anyone sane could do that.
We can talk about genocidesaid Mayor Katerina Pachiouk.
They want to destroy Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.