The Russian invasion leaves Ukrainian territories in ruins and mined. Next to humanitarian assistance, Ukrainians need information on how to stay safe in the war-affected territories and what help is available. The action implemented by the Ukrainian civil society organisation Agromegapolis in May-August 2022 with the European Union’s support has become a part of multiple stakeholders’ effort to address these two issues, having informed 300,000+ Ukrainians on their rights and support available, and the threat of landmines, ammunition and explosive remnants of war (ERW).
In April 2022 Ukraine was recognized as one of the most mined countries in the world. The National State Emergency Service (SSES) estimates that almost half of the country’s territory could be contaminated with mines and ammunition. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, complete demining of the already mined lands may take from 5 to 10 years. Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts are among the most mined regions of Ukraine: more than 100,000 explosive objects have been neutralized there after the retreat of the Russian army in April. Military actions continue in other territories of Ukraine, with Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia oblasts being the current frontlines, and there are more and more ERW-contaminated areas.
Local residents and farmers are the main victims of landmines and ERW. With EU support, the Agromegapolis team produced 300,000 posters with information about mines and what to do in dangerous situations and distributed them in four oblasts in Ukraine, with the assistance of local authorities and volunteers. These posters have become an important contribution to national efforts to reduce casualties among the civilians due to landmines and ERW.
The EU-funded action also helped internally displaced Ukrainians (IDPs) and people who became socially vulnerable due to the war to receive different benefits and services. According to the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, there are 7.7 million IDPs in Ukraine. This number is likely to double soon as the infrastructure of many occupied and de-occupied territories is too damaged to keep local population safe during the 2022/2023 winter.
The videos produced within the action and available on the Ekspertne.TV YouTube channel detail the specific legal procedures and steps in each selected case.
The project “Informing citizens about safety issues and IDPs on the rights and services available” is one of the initiatives supported by the European Union through our ‘Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project within the #StandWithUkraine Call launched on the 8th of April 2022, in response to the war in Ukraine. Through this Call we directly supported 14 initiatives, covering a wide range of topics: support to pregnant women during the war, support to IDPs in specific regions, first aid and safety trainings for volunteers and citizens, educational programmes for children, as well as support to preparatory work for economic recovery. In addition, 13 smaller scale initiatives were supported through the EaP Civil Society Fellowship programme. Find more about the results of the Call here and read the stories about other supported initiatives here.