Tuesday, January 31, 2023

HRW urges Ukraine to probe its military’s use of banned mines

butterfly mines

Ukraine should investigate the “apparent use” of banned antipersonnel landmines by its troops in the northeastern area of Izyum, Human Rights Watch has said.
“Ukrainian forces appear to have extensively scattered landmines around the Izyum area, causing civilian casualties and posing an ongoing risk,” said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at HRW, in a report released on Tuesday.

The rights group found that Ukrainian forces fired PFM antipersonnel mines into Russian-occupied areas near Russian facilities. Also known as “butterfly mines” or “petal mines”, PFM antipersonnel mines differ from other mines which are placed by hand. Instead, the PFM mines found in Izyum “operate only when scattered by aircraft, rockets and artillery, or when fired from specialised vehicles or launchers”.

Their use is banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty – which Ukraine signed in 1999 and ratified in 2005.

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