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Ukraine

FSD’s programme in Ukraine started in 2015. Initially active in the Donbass region, our team has expanded to meet the considerable needs of the ongoing war. Since August 2022, our deminers have been locating and clearing mines and explosive remnants of war in the provinces of Chernihiv and Kharkiv. In parallel, we are stepping up our risk education campaigns to teach safe behaviour to people living in contaminated areas and thus prevent accidents.

Emergency demining teams in Ukraine

These deminers are inspecting a field in Chernihiv Oblast (Ukraine, 2022)

Around one hundred FSD personnel are working in the provinces of Chernihiv and Kharkiv

December 2022 / The fighting in Ukraine has left behind hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel mines, anti-vehicle mines and unexploded or abandoned munitions. According to Ukrainian authorities, almost a third of the country is contaminated. These dangerous remnants of war not only threaten the lives of civilians, but also obstruct humanitarian efforts, hamper reconstruction and prevent farmers from accessing their fields.

As a response to this acute crisis, FSD set up a new operational base in Chernhiv and doubled its workforce. forty-two new deminers were recruited among the local civilian population and have been trained by our experts.

In November 2022, the security situation allowed FSD to deploy several teams to Izum, in Kharkiv Oblast, a city that had been occupied for six months and was heavily littered with explosive ordnance. Hundreds of explosive devices have already been located and neutralized by our teams.

To date, the FSD has a total of eight specialised battlefield clearance teams, three mechanical clearance teams, three non-technical survey teams and four risk education teams.

The role of the non-technical survey teams is to assess the extent of contaminated areas and to map them. These teams meet with the local population and use all available sources to locate the most contaminated areas and identify the most urgent areas to be cleared.

Explosive ordnance risk education campaigns are essential to help civilians live in relative safety with this ongoing threat. These are conducted face-to-face in local communities and online via social networks to reach as many people as possible.

Centimetres after centimentres

In 2021, our deminers have cleared 8.5 km², an area equivalent to half of Geneva. This work requires constant concentration despite the sometimes extreme working conditions.

In Izioum, the fighting has destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure. Here we find hundreds of explosive devices every day.

Olexandr Marchenko

Ukrainian FSD deminer

Olexandr Marchenko FSD

News from Ukraine

Prevent a civilian from getting killed or maimed. Donate today

Help us prevent mine accidents

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is littering cities and farmland with massive amounts of unexploded ordnance. Every contribution, regardless of the amount, helps us rid the country of these lethal remnants of war.

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OUR TEAMS IN THE PROVINCE OF CHERNIHIV

CNN reporters joined one of FSD’s emergency teams clearing land from mines and dangerous unexploded ordnance in Chernihiv, Ukraine.
Ukraine: After the explosion of an ammunition storage area, time has come to begin clearance activities.

Clearing mines after an explosion

Ukraine: After the explosion of an ammunition storage area, time has come to begin clearance activities. Yahidne, a village two hours north of Kiev, is now sadly known as a “martyr village” of the war in Ukraine. […]
Ukraine

Mine clearance

FSD deminers work to decontaminate areas where the fighting has stopped. Mines and unexploded ordnance are excavated and neutralised to allow residents to move around safely and farmers to plant their crops.

FSD Clearance team member excavating an explosive device in Ukraine
Ukraine

Support to education

Until February 2022, FSD participated in the rehabilitation of schools and kindergartens situated along the former contact line in the Donbass region. This project has been suspended.

Support to education, Ukraine
Ukraine

Risk education

FSD teams conducts campaigns in villages and in schools to educate people, especially the youngest, who are the most at threat, of the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance.

Risk awareness campaigns are also offered online, through Facebook, on the dedicated FSD page BezMin.info

FSD Explosive ordnance risk education teams in Kharkiv

FSD in Ukraine

FSD’s involvement in Ukraine dates back to the beginning of 2015, in the Donbass region. The aim was to minimise civilian casualties by teaching people to “live with” mines and unexploded ordnance in relative safety until all contaminated areas are cleared.

In 2017, FSD began a demining programme to locate and destroy explosive devices. To date, almost 5 million square metres of land have been inspected and cleared.

In late 2019, a new project was launched to increase access to education in conflict areas. When FSD staff visited schools and kindergartens for their mine risk education missions, they saw the extent of destruction of schools and the devastating impact of the conflict on the daily lives of children.

Following a special appeal for donations, FSD was able to conduct a needs assessment in schools and kindergartens along the frontline and began the rehabilitation of damaged facilities.

In 2022, as the fighting intensified and spread throughout the country, FSD’s activities were reoriented to provide emergency humanitarian aid (food, shelter, medicines, fuel, etc.). As soon as the security situation allowed, demining and risk education were resumed, now in the provinces of Chernihiv and Kharkiv.

Our activities

Our humanitarian programmes focus on four main areas.

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Mine action

FSD locates and clears mines and unexploded ordnance, provides explosive ordnance risk education and assists survivors of accidental explosions.

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Recovery & stability

FSD supports ongoing peace processes in various countries and provides socio-economic support to communities.

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Environment

FSD remediates sites contaminated by toxic pollutants inherited from the past and act to promote biodiversity and resilience to face climate change. 

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Innovation & technology

FSD collaborates on research projects aiming to put new technologies, such as drones, at the service of mine action.

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Where is FSD currently working in Ukraine? What does a landmine look like? Answers to your questions, once a month.

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Iraqi deminer trained to the use of a detector