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Russia deploying ‘highly unreliable’ mines across Ukraine

Russia deploying 'highly unreliable' mines across Ukraine

Russia is very likely using so-called “butterfly mines” in eastern Ukraine that are capable of inflicting heavy civilian casualties, UK defence chiefs said on Monday.

In its latest intelligence update, the Defense Ministry warned that Vladimir Putin’s forces were likely deploying anti-personnel mines to “protect and deter freedom of movement along their defensive lines in the Donbas.”

Defence chiefs said they can inflict widespread casualties on the military and local residents.

“In Donetsk and Kramatorsk, it is very likely that Russia tried to employ PFM-1 and PFM-15 dispersible antipersonnel mines,” they said. “Commonly called the ‘butterfly mine,’ the PFM-1 series are deeply controversial indiscriminate weapons.

“PFM-1s were used to devastating effect in the Soviet-Afghan war, where they reportedly maimed large numbers of children who mistook them for toys.

“It is very likely that the Soviet-era stocks used by Russia have degraded over time and are now highly unreliable and unpredictable.

“This represents a threat both to the local population and to humanitarian demining operations.”

Also known as green parrot mines, PFMs can be deployed from mortars, helicopters, and aircraft and glide to the ground without exploding.

Vladimir Putin’s troops are trying to gain full control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea from the south in 2014.

Russian forces intensified their attacks north and northwest of the Donbas city of Donetsk on Sunday, Ukraine’s military said. The Russians attacked Ukrainian positions near the heavily fortified settlements of Piski and Avdiivka, as well as shelling other places in the Donetsk region, he said.

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However, Kyiv said Ukrainian soldiers were “firmly holding the defense” and “inflicting losses on the enemy.”

The UK warning came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international inspectors to have access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia exchanged accusations over the bombing of Europe’s largest atomic plant. weekend.

“Any attack on a nuclear plant is suicidal,” Guterres told a news conference in Japan on Monday, after attending the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.

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