Ukrainians drive over LANDMINES left behind by Russian troopsMarch 31, 2022
Inches from death: Ukrainians drive over LANDMINES left behind by Russian troops in nerve-wracking footage
- The mines were placed to cover the full width of a bridge near Borodyanka
- Russian troops had laid them in diagonal rows to block the route across
- Video shows drivers lining their cars up so their tyres are parallel to the mines
- Nerve-wracking footage shows them inching their vehicles forward over mines
- In total, the footage shows three treacherous crossings by civilian drivers
These are the tense moments civilians carefully drove their cars over landmines left behind by Russian troops on a main road in Ukraine.
The drivers are shown crossing one-by-one, navigating their cars through the mine field – all while coming inches from death.
Footage from Borodyanka, a town in Kyiv Oblast, shows the mines covering the full width of a bridge and positioned in diagonal rows, meaning any vehicle driven across them in a straight line would likely set them off and be destroyed.
Footage from Borodyanka, a town in Kyiv Oblast, shows the mines (pictured) covering the full width of a bridge and positioned in diagonal rows, meaning any vehicle driving across them in a straight line would likely set them off and be destroyed
The rows of mines, which were placed four-deep across the bridge, meant civilians wanting to pass the treacherous trap had to angle their cars so that their tyres run parallel to the mines to not set them off.
In the nerve-wracking video, a queue of cars is shown pulled up to the side of the two-lane road, with the drivers patiently waiting their turn to drive their vehicles over the heavily mined stretch.
Three crossings are shown in the footage, filmed by someone standing on the other side of the mines to where the cars are queued.
The first driver, whose car is also towing a small trailer, is shown lining their vehicle up to the minefield before bravely pushing forward, safely keeping their tyres either side of a curved row of the explosives.
Each moment is spent fearing the slightest mistake could set off the mines, destroy the car and almost definitely kill the driver inside.
But the fears prove unfounded. Four mines pass underneath the car and the trailer before the driver successfully crosses to the other side without a scratch.
Three crossings are shown in the footage, filmed by someone standing on the other side of the mines to where the cars are queued. The first driver, whose car is also pulling a small trailer, is shown lining their vehicle up to the minefield before bravely pushing forward, safely keeping their tyres either side of a row of the explosives
The next two drivers appear more timid. The second is driving a larger vehicle, and so its wheels come much closer to the mines either side of it.
But like the first, the driver is able to clear the mines and continue down the road.
The third driver lines their wheels up more awkwardly. The video ends with their vehicle halfway across the mines, and before they make it to the other side.
It is unclear how the mines were spotted. The small round devices lie low on the road, and so any driver approaching at speed could easily drive straight into them.
The video comes after a human rights group reported that Russian forces have been using banned antipersonnel mines during their invasion of Ukraine.
The next two drivers appear more timid. The second is driving a larger vehicle, and so its wheels come much closer to the mines either side of it. But like the first, the driver is able to clear the mines and continue down the road
Human Rights Watch said POM-3 anti-personnel mines that failed to deploy were discovered in the besieged city of Kharkiv, despite international treaties outlawing their use.
The campaign group said the ‘Medallion’ mines have been deployed by Vladimir Putin’s invading forces.
Footage online reportedly shows armoured vehicles firing dozens of them into Kharkiv from nine miles away.
The devices descend by parachute before burying or fixing themselves into the ground.
A ‘seismic detector’ inside senses if someone is approaching and launches an explosive charge, sending shrapnel flying.
Pictured: Mines are lined up at a roadblock in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, on March 28
Pictured: Russian anti-tank mines on the expressway to Chernihiv, Ukraine, 28 March 2022
The use of landmines is prohibited by the 1997 international Mine Ban Treaty. Russia is not among the 164 signatories but Ukraine is.
Stephen Goose, director of the group’s arms division, said: ‘These weapons do not differentiate between combatants and civilians and leave a deadly legacy.’
Human Rights Watch said that a delivery canister remnant pictured in Ukraine contained POM-3 mines that failed to deploy properly, with markings indicating that it was produced last year.
Mr Goose added: ‘Countries around the world should forcefully condemn Russia’s use of banned anti-personnel landmines in Ukraine.
‘(It) deliberately flouts the international norm against use of these horrid weapons.’
The process of demining a country after a conflict to make the land safe for human use again can be a long and arduous process.
Lost mines can remain hidden for years, and unsuspecting people can drive or walk over them, making them a long-term hazard counties that have seen war.
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