The missile has the appearance of a soviet merch, is slender, heavy, several meters long and is stranded quite deep, with only its tail visible, rooted in a large hole that it has formed when it hit a meadow near a pond. The truck struggles and struggles, shakes and pulls on the metal rope that has been tied around it, but the metal pot persists in remaining almost motionless, unmoved by the effort of wanting to remove it. So much so that finally the head of this elite unit anti-explosive from KharkivArtur Silchenko yields. He then calls the rest of his unit over to him, a tractor arrives, and just like that, after an hour of maneuvering in an open field in Bezludovka, a few kilometers south of the second largest city in Ukrainethe metal junk comes off the ground.
The men then take it carefully, laying it on the meadow, check that there are no explosives left inside, open it, and prepare it for the attack. scrapping. They discover that the missile maintains only its Case, the ammunition hit a nearby forest. That is what needs to be controlled. The unit of antimines he has experience in it, it’s his job. On their expeditions, they say, they have collected cluster bombs, anti tank minesmissiles uragan Y grads, among other weapons that have fallen from the sky. He is a dangerous work which fatally “in recent months has caused the death of three men” from Silchenko’s team. “When we find missiles and there is ammunition inside, it is the most difficult. Operations must be carried out very carefully, without rushing,” he explains.
“What we find most are fragments of Smerch missiles, Uragan or usually the rear part of the missile or the tube, but more and more we find cluster munitions inside these missiles,” says Oleg Shevchyk, another member of the team. “We have not deactivated anti-personnel mines at the moment because they are now in the line of fire. But we have collected anti-tank mines. When we find them, we cordon off the area, evacuate whoever is there, deactivate the ammunition and dispose of it,” Add.
in a nursery school
Also very dangerous for the population are cluster bombs, as has been repeated in recent months International Amnesty (AI). This organization denounced, for example, the use in February of cluster bombs against a children’s school in Okhtyrka, in the Sumy region, which killed three people, including a child (another child was also injured). “There is no possible justification for the launch of cluster bombs in inhabited areas, much less near a school,” added Agnès Callamard, general secretary of AI, whose entity used drone images and photographs of the scene for its analysis.
In fact, to date, more than a hundred States around the world have ratified the Convention on Cluster Weaponsbut so much Russia such as Ukraine have not signed this agreement and possess them. kyiv has even denied its use in the war started by the pro-Russian uprising in the region of the donbas in 2014, but Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims otherwise. According to this organization, there are indications that both the pro-Russian and the Ukrainian government have made use of these weapons whose lethality consists in the fact that they contain a device that, when opened, releases a large number of small bombs in wide areas and has a margin of error. high.
shipment of weapons
But it is not, of course, the only weapon being used in Ukraine, and more could come. Various Western countries, including several Europeans, have confirmed shipments in recent weeks to support the Ukrainian Army. US President Joe Biden even promised a package of 800 million dollars in military aid to the country, and the Pentagon press officer, John Kirby, reported on the training of the Ukrainian military in the use of howitzers. M777 Howitzeras recently noted Defense News. Russia, for its part, has also used various weapons that have been lethal to civilians.
Some remains of the war junk that is leaving the war in Ukraine have even fallen into the gardens from the residents of the Kharkov suburbs, as happened to Tatiana. This old woman tells that a few days ago she was hiding in her house when a big noise startled her. “It was 10 in the morning, we didn’t see it, we heard it. At first we thought it was the dogs but then we realized it wasn’t. When the missiles fly the dogs start barking,” he says, watching the men dig. on the ground to remove the missile fragment that is now in the old woman’s garden. The work of these young people, between 25 and 28 years old, could even serve to document what is happening in Ukraine.