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1997 Ottawa International Mine Ban Treaty

Sunday | 17.4.22 | Last Updated 2022-04-17T18:01:31Z
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1997 Ottawa International Mine Ban Treaty

 Russian troops in Ukraine have used antipersonnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region. The complaint came from Human Rights Watch, the international non-governmental organization working on the defense of human rights, according to which the bombs were discovered by Ukrainian technicians on March 28, 2022. Russia is known to possess mines that can indiscriminately kill and injure people within a 16-meter radius, whereas Ukraine does not possess this type of weapon. "Countries around the world should strongly condemn Russia's use of antipersonnel mines, which are banned in Ukraine," said Steve Goose, Director of Weapons at Human Rights Watch. 

"These weapons make no distinction between combatants and civilians and leave a deadly legacy for years to come," he added. The 1997 Ottawa International Mine Ban Treaty completely prohibits the use, production, storage and transfer of antipersonnel mines. The countries that have not signed the convention are China, the United States, Russia, Cuba, Israel and North Korea. Russia is therefore not among the 164 countries that have agreed to the treaty. However, the fact that he was using it on the territory of a country that had signed the document was a rare and serious circumstance. Antipersonnel mines are explosive devices invented and developed during the two world wars. It was placed in the ground or buried, and equipped with explosives. It is activated by the pressure of the vehicle or by the foot stepping on it. 

Most often, metal, plastic or glass fragments are added to it, which adds to the explosion. These last two substances cannot be detected by metal detectors and therefore complicate the removal work, and are also invisible to X-rays, and are therefore difficult to remove from any wound. They are devices capable of damaging not only the main victim, but also anyone in the vicinity.
It has been calculated that about every 20 minutes a human jumps into a mine somewhere in the world. Antipersonnel mines caused 5,197 deaths in 2011, a third of them children. 

These types of bombs can cause civilian casualties and continue to harm local residents long after the conflict is over. More than 35,000 people in Cambodia will suffer mutilation or die from antipersonnel mines long after the end of the Second Indochina War and many more victims also in Mozambique, Afghanistan, Angola, Chechnya, Iraqi Kurdistan and the former Yugoslavia. The mines used by Russia are of a new design and are called POM-3 or 'Medals'. It is equipped with seismic sensors to detect approaching people and ejects explosives into the air, HRW explained. 

The subsequent explosion of the payload and the expulsion of metal shards can cause death and injury within a radius of 16 meters, according to available information. The POM-3 is equipped with a self-destruct device that destroys the device after a certain amount of time, such as hours or days after it was placed. The mines are deployed by specially designed ground rockets, while the wording on the rest of the containers indicates production in 2021. POM-3 mines can also be dispersed at close range by other truck-mounted launchers. Human Rights Watch points out that it has documented the use of Soviet/Russian antipersonnel mines in more than 30 countries, including Syria (2011-2019), Ukraine (2014-2015) and Libya (2020), often coinciding with Russia. military presence in these conflicts. "Russia's use of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine willfully violates international norms against the use of this horrific weapon" .

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