Land mines in Ukraine’s east put it among world’s most dangerous areas for civilians

In an overgrown minefield, Yulia Boiko kneels down and starts gardening. Years of war have caused weeds to grow high in the abandoned croplands of eastern Ukraine. Clad in flak jacket and face mask, she uses shears to snip back sun-scorched scrub, removing vegetation one careful inch at a time to avoid hidden tripwires.

A small patch of earth is eventually exposed. Boiko stands up, then scans the ground with her metal detector to ensure it is clear. She repeats the painstaking process — one pace farther into a 600-acre field where wheat and sunflowers once grew.

The United Nations reports that this Donbas region is becoming one of the most mined areas in the world. Anti-vehicle mines in particular kill more people here than anywhere else in the world, researchers say — surpassing the numbers of victims in Syria, Yemen or battlefields across Africa.

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Source: The Washington Post