Russian Federation

Mine Action

Last updated: 19 November 2018


Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

Not a party

Mine action management

National mine action management actors


Mine action strategic plan


Operators in 2017

Federal Ministry of Defense engineers

Demining brigades of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

The Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES), through its specialized demining units (EMERCOM Demining and the “Leader” Center for Special Tasks)

An International Demining Action Center conducts specialist training

Extent of contamination as of end 2017


Not known

Cluster munition remnants


Land release in 2017


331,607 explosive devices destroyed, including 30,292 improvised explosive devices (IEDs)



Russia is continuing to demine in Chechnya and Ingushetia, but the extent of progress being made and the expected completion date are not known, as this information is not officially reported by Russia




The Russian Federation is heavily contaminated with mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a result of World War II, the two Chechen wars (1994–1996 and 1999–2009), and armed conflicts in the Caucasian republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria.

Antipersonnel and antivehicle mines were used extensively in the two major conflicts in Chechnya. Estimates of the extent of contamination vary greatly because no systematic effort has been undertaken to assess the scope or impact of the problem.[1] In 2010, Russia’s deputy prime minister and presidential special envoy to the Caucasus, Aleksandr Khloponin, claimed that mines affected 14km2 of land and posed a major obstacle to development.[2] In contrast, Chechen officials and human rights organizations have previously estimated that 245km2 of land was mined, including 165km2 of farmland and 73km2 of woodland.[3]

In January 2017, a commander in the Russian armed forces reportedly told press agency Interfax that more than 100km2 of land remained to be cleared in Chechnya, and a further 20km2 in neighboring Ingushetia.[4] According to the online media report, areas cleared to date had nearly all been in lowland Chechnya and remaining mined area is in more mountainous terrain, complicating demining efforts.[5]


Program Management


There is no formal civilian mine action program in Russia and no national mine action authority. Mine clearance is carried out by Federal Ministry of Defense engineers, demining brigades of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and by the MES, through its specialized demining units (EMERCOM Demining and the “Leader” Center for Special Tasks).[6]

Russia reported that its armed forces established an International Demining Action Center in 2014. The center serves as a base for specialist training in detection and clearance of explosive devices, demining, and operation of mobile robotic tools, and does not function as a mine action center as the term is generally understood in mine action.[7]

Clearance of explosive ordnance in 2017 was reportedly undertaken by 7,050 military personnel, including 846 officers, 97 demining teams, 978 vehicles, and 51 pieces of demining machinery.[8]


Land Release


In its Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V transparency reports for 2017, Russia reported that its armed forces engineering units conducted demining and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) in the “territories of the Russian Federation,” including the western, southern, central, and eastern military districts, and the northern navy district.In total, more than 331,607 explosive devices were destroyed, including 30,292 IEDs.[9]

In 2016, the Deputy Chief Engineer of Russia’s armed forces, Colonel Ruslan Alahverdiev, had reportedly promised to complete clearance of Chechnya and Ingushetia by 2018.[10] However, in the online media report, it was unclear whether Colonel Alahverdiev was referring only to clearing all roads and forests, or if roads and forests are the only remaining mined areas in Chechnya and Ingushetia. In September 2017, online media reported that combat engineers had been working since April 2017 to clear forests in mountainous areas and foothills in Chechnya.[11]


Progress in 2018


For 2018, Russia planned to clear more than 53km2 of ERW: 14.7km2 in the western military district, 14.2km2 in the southern military district, 13.9km2 in the central military district, 6.2km2 in the eastern military district, and 4.1km2 in the northern navy district.[12]




The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (, which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from “Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

[1] UNMAS, “Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2009,” New York, 2008, p. 284.

[3]MoE sappers to demine arable land in Chechnya,” Caucasian Knot, 3 April 2009; “In Chechnya MES deminers destroyed 25 explosive devices,” Caucasian Knot, 5 October 2009; and “Human rights activists: 25,000 hectares of Chechen territory are still mined,” Caucasian Knot, 7 May 2008.

[4]Landmine threat in Chechnya still prevalent,” OC Media, 23 January 2017.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See, for example, “It is planned to establish special groups for demining of lands within MES,” Caucasian Knot, 23 July 2009; and “Autumn demining is completed in Chechnya,” Vesti Kavkaza, 28 October 2009.

[7] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report, Form B, 31 March 2015; and meeting with Andrey Grebenshchikov, First Secretary, Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Geneva, 9 April 2015.

[8] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2017), Form A.

[9] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form B; and Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A.

[11]MfE's combat engineers defuse two air bombs in Chechnya,” Caucasian Knot, 22 September 2017.

[12] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2017), Form A.