Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 December 2016


Ukraine signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 24 February 1999 and ratified on 27 December 2005, becoming a State Party on 1 June 2006.

Ukraine has not enacted national legislation, including penal sanctions, to enforce the prohibitions of the Mine Ban Treaty domestically as required in Article 9. It has reported existing regulations under national implementation measures, as well as a 2012 law to ratify an agreement with a NATO agency to destroy stockpiles.[1]

Ukraine submitted its tenth Article 7 transparency report on 1 April 2016, covering calendar year 2015.

Since the Second Review Conference in 2009, Ukraine has attended almost all treaty meetings, including the Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2015 and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings held in May 2016. Ukraine did not attend the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo in June 2014.

Ukraine is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war (ERW). It submitted a national annual report for Amended Protocol II, but has not submitted a national annual report for Protocol V.

Production and transfer

Ukraine has declared that it “has not made and does not produce antipersonnel mines.”[2] It has not produced antipersonnel mines since its independence.[3] Ukraine is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. Its 1999 moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines, formally in place through 2003, in practice stayed in effect until the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Ukraine in 2006.


Landmines appear to be a part of the conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists that erupted in early 2014 initially in Crimea, then in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. There is significant evidence present at different locations that antipersonnel mines of Soviet-origin with production markings from the 1980s are available to combatants and unconfirmed reports of emplaced antipersonnel mines being found in the field. Ukraine has accused Russian forces of laying antivehicle and antipersonnel mines on Ukrainian territory.

Since 2014, the government of Ukraine stated that it had not used antipersonnel landmines in the conflict and accused Russian forces of laying landmines in Ukraine.[4] In December 2014, Ukrainian government officials stated that “no banned weapons” had been used in the “Anti-Terrorist Operations Zone” by Ukrainian armed forces or forces associated with them, such as volunteer battalions.[5]

In February 2016, Ukraine informed the Mine Ban Treaty Committee on Cooperative Compliance that “its Armed Forces are authorized to use mines in command-detonate mode, which is not prohibited under the Convention. All mines planted in command-detonate mode are recorded, secured and access is restricted.”[6]

Ukrainian civilian and military officials have accused separatist non-state armed groups (NSAGs) of using antipersonnel mines, including victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). At the Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of the States Parties in December 2015, Ukraine stated that there were mined areas in territory under its jurisdiction but not under its control. In addition to those areas, it said that “sabotage acts are carried out on its territory which is under the control of Ukraine, including mining territory and infrastructure.”[7]

In November 2015, an officer from the General Staff informed soldiers that separatist NSAGs were using landmines attached to fish hooks and fishing lines to snag the clothing of soldiers as they moved through wooded areas, thereby detonating nearby mines.[8] In May 2016, two Ukrainian army engineers in Donetsk region were injured by an antipersonnel mine as they were checking the area for explosives.[9]

In September 2016, Ukraine’s Department of Defense Intelligence reported that pro-Russian separatists had laid POM-2 antipersonnel mines.[10] Later that month, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine reported the presence of antivehicle and antipersonnel mines that it said were preventing the SMM representatives from traveling from Pervomaisk toward Zolote, between Mykolaiv province and Luhansk province.[11]

Stockpiling and destruction

Ukraine missed its 1 June 2010 treaty-mandated deadline for the destruction of all stockpiled antipersonnel mines and has therefore been in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty ever since.[12] The requirement to destroy almost six million PFM-type antipersonnel mines was a key obstacle that prevented Ukraine from rapidly ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty.[13] For years, Ukraine repeated at nearly every formal and informal Mine Ban Treaty meeting that it would depend on international support for the destruction of its stockpiles.[14]

The types and quantities of antipersonnel mines Ukraine has reported in its stockpile have varied over the years. The highest total of 6,664,342 mines of nine different types was detailed in Landmine Monitor Report 2006.[15]

In its Article 7 report for calendar year 2015, Ukraine declared a stockpile of 5,564,429 antipersonnel mines: 5,414,728 PFM-type and 149,096 POM-2 remotely-delivered mines, and 605 OZM-4 hand-emplaced bounding fragmentation mines.[16] Ukraine also reported the destruction of 19,944 mines in 2015.[17] It declared the destruction of 576 mines in 2014, 332,352 mines in 2013, 22,604 mines in 2012, and 9,890 mines in 2011.[18] From 1999 to 2010, Ukraine destroyed significant quantities of stockpiled antipersonnel mines using both its own resources and international assistance.[19]

At the May 2016 intersessional meetings, Ukraine stated that on 19 October 2015, an additional agreement was reached among the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, NATO Support and Procurement Agency, and the Pavlograd Chemical Plant for the resumption of destruction of stockpiles of PFM-type antipersonnel mines. Within the context of this agreement, a total of 642,960 PFM-1 mines are slated to be destroyed between 2015 and the end of 2016; 233,496 were destroyed by 1 May 2016.[20]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 1 April 2014.

[2] Ibid., Form E.

[3] For example, in May 2009 Ukraine said it “did not produce APL [antipersonnel landmines] in the past, doesn’t produce at present, and will not produce them in the future.” Presentation of Ukraine, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 25 May 2009.

[4] Submission of Ukraine, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, Mozambique, 18 June 2014; and statement of Ukraine, Intersessional Meetings of the Committee on Cooperative Compliance, Geneva, 26 June 2015.

[5] The Military Prosecutor confirmed that an assessment had been undertaken to ensure that stockpiled KSF-1 and KSF-1S cartridges containing PFM-1 antipersonnel mines, BKF-PFM-1 cartridges with PFM-1S antipersonnel mines, and 9M27K3 rockets with PFM-1S antipersonnel mines are not operational, but rather destined for destruction in accordance with the Mine Ban Treaty.

[7] Statement of Ukraine, Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[8]General Staff: Militants use fishhooks to undermine mines,” Pravda (Moscow), 30 November 2015.

[9]In the past day, three soldiers were killed and two wounded,” Ukraine Crisis Media Center, 5 May 2016.

[10]Most militant attacks - in Mariupol direction – Col. Andriy Lysenko,” Ukraine Crisis Media Center, 3 September 2016.

[12] On 18 May 2010, Ukraine officially informed States Parties in a note verbale that “it will be unable to comply with its Article 4 obligation to destroy stockpiled anti-personnel mines by 1 June 2010 deadline.” At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2010 after Ukraine missed its deadline, Ukraine’s representative noted that this is not “unexpected information to States Parties” and that “Ukraine remains open for the fruitful cooperation with States Parties and potential donors and hopes for the practical assistance to make Ukraine territory free from [antipersonnel mine] stockpiles of PFM-type as soon as possible.” See, statement by Amb. Oleksandr Nykonenko, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[13] PFM mines contain a liquid explosive filling (VS6-D) that makes them dangerous and difficult to destroy, and requires sophisticated pollution control measures. In mid-2003, a European Commission (EC) technical study determined that the condition of Ukraine’s PFM stockpiles was good. The mines were consolidated into two sites, from a previous total of 13 storage locations. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 765.

[14] In 2002, the EC launched a project to finance the destruction of Ukraine’s PFM mines, but a contract awarded in December 2005 was cancelled in April 2007. In 2008, Ukraine said it had decided to make a national financial contribution toward destruction of about 1.6 million of the PFM mines, and also requested a renewal of European Union (EU) assistance. In 2009 and 2010, Ukraine said on multiple occasions that it was unlikely to meet its stockpile destruction deadline. It appealed to States Parties in May 2009 to find a “joint solution” to the problem and to come up with an option that would “prevent Ukraine from violating the Article 4 deadline” including international financial assistance to modernize destruction facilities and to acquire additional equipment. In a statement at the Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference in Cartagena on 2 December 2009, Amb. Nykonenko of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Ukraine could destroy one million mines per year if the destruction facility was upgraded and that with additional assistance the timeframe might be reduced to three years.

[15] For a chart showing the changes on the quantities and types of stockpiled antipersonnel mines from 2006–2009, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 774.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 1 April 2016.

[17] Ibid., Form G.

[18] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 April 2012; 1 April 2013; 1 April 2014; and 1 April 2015.

[19] In a November 2008 presentation, Ukraine indicated it had destroyed its entire stock of 238,010 POMZ-2 and POMZ-2M mines, as well as all 8,060 PMD-6 mines. It also destroyed more than 400,000 PMN mines in 2002 and 2003. Ukraine also destroyed 101,088 PFM-1 mines in 1999. In June 2008, Ukraine reported that between 2005 and 2007, an experimental program to partially dismantle and destroy 8,000 POM-2 mines was carried out at the Donetsk Chemical Plant, and a further 48 POM-2 mines were destroyed at the Pavlograd Chemical Plant. In its Article 7 reports submitted in 2007, 2008, and 2009, Ukraine also noted that while its MON-type and OZM-type antipersonnel mines can be used in command-detonated mode in compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty, these stockpiled mines are excessive and not suitable for use, and it has plans to destroy them.

[20] Statement of Ukraine, Intersessional Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 20 May 2016.