HRW Accuses Russia of Banned Mine Deployment In Ukraine

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Russian forces of using banned anti-personnel mines in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region.

The human rights group stated that Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal personnel found the mines on March 28.

HRW cited a news report to identify the mine as a POM-3 or “Medallion” launched by the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system from stand-off range.

A day later, Janes cited social media videos to report that two mobile Zemledeliye systems fired a salvo of around 100 mine-loaded rockets in Kharkiv.

Causalities Within 16-Meter Radius

Designed by the Splav Research and Manufacturing Association, the Zemledeliye was unveiled at the International Military-Technical Forum Army-2021 last September. It comprises an 8×8 wheeled vehicle, “a transporter-loader, and launch pod containers loaded with various types of mines.”

Defence Advancement quoted General Director of Technodinamika Holding Igor Nasenkov as saying that the system uses anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and comes with a self-destruct mode.

Citing media reports, HRW wrote that the mine’s “seismic sensor” detects an approaching person or vehicle to trigger detonation, causing death and injury within a 16-meter (53 feet) radius.

According to Top War, the system uses 122 mm caliber ammunition and can lay mines from 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away.

Russia Not a Treaty Member

Russia is not a signatory of the 1997 international Mine Ban Treaty that bans the “use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel mines.” One hundred sixty-four countries are signatories to the treaty, including Ukraine.

HRW pointed out that the Russian use of mines is a “rarity” where a non-signatory of the treaty uses mines against a country that is a party to the treaty.

Urges Condemnation

“Countries around the world should forcefully condemn Russia’s use of banned antipersonnel landmines in Ukraine,” arms director of HRW Steve Goose said.

“These weapons do not differentiate between combatants and civilians and leave a deadly legacy for years to come.”

Related Articles

Back to top button