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Canadian Demining Equipment Joins the Battle Against Unexploded Ordnance in Ukraine

Demining teams put donated equipment to use, but clearance efforts are complicated by the introduction of Western cluster munitions

Throughout the vast expanses of Ukraine’s landscape, in forests and fields, in playgrounds and in parks, an invisible enemy lurks, one that poses an insidious threat to civilians in the ongoing conflict. A third of the entire country — more than 174,000 square kilometres — is contaminated with explosive ordnance requiring demining, according to a representative from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service.
In a desperately needed contribution to the war-torn nation, the Canadian government has delivered demining equipment and technical expertise, aiding in the mitigation of the war’s collateral damage as part of a $15-million aid package announced last December.

GCS-200, a demining machine built to withstand demanding conditions and increase the speed of clearance in urban areas and the countryside.

Several pieces of demining equipment have arrived in Ukraine, including four GCS-200 mechanized demining machines and 43 EOD-9 heavy protective suits, with more on the way. Canada is expected to fulfill the delivery of the rest of its demining aid in the coming months, with eight mechanized demining vehicles, 12 heavy-duty vehicles, 12 light-duty vehicles, 20 pickup trucks, and eight robotic systems still in the process of being transferred.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, the agency tasked with spearheading the country’s enormous demining campaign, has been busy.