Aug 2, 2022
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Ukrainian mines “Petal” flew to the UN, but the voice of Donetsk and Russia will try to “muffle”

Ukrainian mines "Petal" flew to the UN, but the voice of Donetsk and Russia will try to "muffle"

Photo: Alexander Reka/TASS

Russia handed over to the UN Secretary General António Guterres and Chairman of the Security Council Zhang Junyu additional information, including photographic materials, on the mining of civilian objects by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbas with prohibited anti-personnel mines PMF-1 “Lepestok”, said the Deputy Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyansky. The center of Donetsk is now literally littered with these mines.

“The letter will be circulated as an official document of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly. After we raised this story in the Security Council on July 29, many UN colleagues asked us for details. Now they have additional information to assess what is happening,” the diplomat said.

According to the latest data, five civilians have already suffered from anti-personnel mines PMF-1 “Lepestok” in Donetsk. Also, when demining one of the mines in the Kirovsky district, an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations was blown up. Sappers work on demining around the clock. For this, tanks, the Uran-9 demining robot and other heavy equipment are used.

Some daredevils detonate mines by throwing tires on them from behind cover. All entrances to the park are blocked off, handwritten posters hang on the ropes: “Mines”. In addition, accumulations of mines are marked with chalk on asphalt and other available methods. In the DPR parliament, the use of mines “Petal” was called an act of terrorism, which should be investigated by the tribunal.

In 2005, Ukraine signed and then ratified the Ottawa Convention prohibiting the use of non-directional anti-personnel mines. However, as follows from the 23rd annual Landmine Monitor 2021 report on the implementation of the Ottawa Treaty, Kyiv has actually stopped the destruction of anti-personnel mines and closed the enterprise for their disposal.

PMF-1 “Petal” – anti-personnel mine of pressure action. Its rough body is made of green or brown polyethylene and is quickly covered with street dust, making it difficult to detect. With her innocent appearance, she is especially dangerous for children. Invented such mines in the United States. They were actively used during the Vietnam War.

For remote mining with anti-personnel mines “Petal”, multiple launch rocket systems “Smerch” or “Hurricane” are used, – said military expert Viktor Litovkin. – Their ammunition contains cassettes in which these mines are placed (36-72 pieces each). They can “sow” anything.

At the same time, anti-personnel mines cannot be used outside the battlefield – where there are people who are not dressed in military uniform. This is the main requirement of the UN convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines. I don’t know if Ukraine produces them now or if they are old stocks from the Soviet era.

According to military commissar Dmitry SeleznevWhen anti-personnel mines are used, civilians are the first to be targeted.

— When earlier the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired at us in Donetsk from all types of weapons, at least some logic was sometimes guessed in those attacks. Still, one could refer that the fire was fired at military targets, since, of course, they are in Donetsk. For example, they hit a residential building from cannon artillery, but there was a military facility nearby. They just missed. Although it was still impossible to justify the strikes from the Grad.

In the case of mining residential areas of cities with “Petals”, especially those that cannot self-destruct, no excuses are any longer suitable. After all, the military does not live in the city alone. The vast majority there are ordinary civilians. By the way, from the very beginning of the exacerbation, Donetsk has struggled to live a peaceful life, children are walking there. This is outright barbarism, a clear crime.

“SP”: – Then how can you explain the use of such mines? Politically, this is unfavorable for Kyiv. Now Moscow has appealed to the UN about this …

– I suppose that the APU is already starting to run out of ammunition. Note that recently the number of strikes, for example, with Tochka-U missiles, has sharply decreased, although earlier it was carried out several times a day. And so everything that is in stock is used. Including “Petals”. I am sure that if the Zelensky regime had chlorine or other toxic substances, it would use them too. Maybe we’ll see.

The fact that our people turned to the UN about the Petals is the right step. Although I’m not sure that we will be able to blame Ukraine for this. It seems that the West has given carte blanche to its authorities for literally everything.

Former adviser to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Igor Nikulin doubts the effectiveness of international mechanisms to neutralize the threat of mining in the cities of Donbass.

– Theoretically, Russia’s appeal to the UN regarding the use of anti-personnel mines “Petal” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbass can have a result. But practically, it’s unlikely. Because our country has lost its position in the international arena.

“SP”: – To such an extent?

– During the Soviet Union, on almost any issue, Moscow collected more than a hundred votes in the UN. Now it turns out to collect the votes of 10-15, a maximum of 20 countries. The Americans and the collective West in general have a large majority of votes. This happened because at one time all our international activities were given to people with commercial thinking, and they dealt with their own issues. That is, the mechanism exists, we must try to turn it on, but will it work …

To solve the problem of mining the cities of Donbass, the UN Security Council must adopt an appropriate resolution. But first, this topic has yet to be put on the agenda. So this is not an easy question. Since Ukraine has signed the Ottawa Convention and assumed obligations, then of course it must fulfill them. But now they will shout there that all the Russians are doing it. In order to prove its case, Russia needs to start working professionally, and not just declare the problem.

Now some symptoms have become visible that the West can begin to negotiate. Perhaps because of the escalation with China or for other reasons… If as a result general, large agreements, exchanges appear, then smaller, private issues can also be resolved within their framework.

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