- Ukrainian officials say that retreating Russian forces left behind an array of booby traps.
- They claimed that occupying forces left explosives in car trunks, washing machines, and under corpses.
- Ukrainian experts said they have found over 54,000 explosives left behind by Russia.
Ukrainian officials said that retreating Russian troops have left behind explosives hidden in car trunks, washing machines, and under dead bodies in ravaged Ukrainian cities.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Russia’s attacks on civilians extended beyond artillery attacks, with officials saying they uncovered booby traps scattered throughout cities including Kyiv and Mariopol.
“The Russian Federation is in war not only with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but also fights against the civilian population of Ukraine, grossly violating the Law of war,” the statement said. “While retreating Russia’s military personnel is massively setting up booby-traps, banned by the international law, even on food facilities, private housing and human corpses.”
According to The New York Times, outside of Kyiv, a man named Oleg Naumenko was killed after opening the trunk of an abandoned car. Local authorities told The Times the car exploded after being booby-trapped.
“I died with him in that moment,” Naumenko’s wife, Valeria, told The Times.
Anti-personnel mines, which are designed to kill individuals, were banned in a 1997 treaty signed by most countries across the globe, excluding Russia and the United States.
Anti-vehicle mines, which are not banned, but the UN has called for regulations on, have been used by both sides, with Ukrainians using anti-tank mines.
According to The Times, Ukraine’s interior minister Denys Monastyrsky said in an interview on Sunday that other booby traps, often in the form of landmines or jury-rigged bombs, lay in doorways or washing machines and even under hospital beds and corpses.
In a video address on Tuesday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also accused Russia of leaving behind a devastating pattern of traps, saying that his country was “one of the most contaminated by mines in the world.”
Zelenskyy called the acts war crimes and claimed that Russian soldiers were ordered to do so “to kill or maim as many of our people as possible.”
Non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch also claimed that Russian troops in Kharkiv have used landmines, forcing the Ukrainian emergency services agency to send a bomb squad of hundreds to find explosive devices in recently liberated cities across the country.
On Tuesday, the organization said that since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, it has found over 54,000 explosive devices.