Ukraine

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 October 2018

Policy

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. A new draft law on mine action was introduced in parliament on 19 September 2018, but similar legislation introduced in 2016 failed to pass.[1] Ukraine 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.[2]

Ukraine submitted its twelfth Article 7 transparency report on 1 April 2018, covering calendar year 2017.

Since the Second Review Conference in 2009, Ukraine has attended almost all treaty meetings, including the Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties in Vienna in December 2017 and the intersessional meetings held in June 2018. Ukraine did not attend the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference 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). Ukraine submitted its latest national annual report for Amended Protocol II in November 2016, and submitted a national annual report for Protocol V in October 2016.

Production and transfer

Ukraine has declared that it “has not made and does not produce antipersonnel mines.”[3] It has not produced antipersonnel mines since its independence.[4] 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.

Use

Landmines were used in the conflict between government forces and Russian-supported separatists that erupted in early 2014, initially in Crimea and later in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of eastern Ukraine. Landmine Monitor has received no credible information that Ukrainian government forces used antipersonnel mines in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty since 2014 and into 2018.[5]

Since 2014, the government of Ukraine has stated that it has not used antipersonnel mines in the conflict and has accused Russian-supported forces of laying landmines in Ukraine.[6] 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.”[7]

At the Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of 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.”[8]

HALO Trust identified through survey a total of 1,653 military and civilian casualties on both sides of the current contact line, caused by mines and ERW. Using remote accident mapping technology, HALO was able to conduct this preliminary technical survey to identify contamination in inaccessible areas. They identified at least 135 villages, out of the 873 assessed, which were contaminated by landmines.[9]

There is significant evidence present at different locations that antipersonnel mines of Soviet-origin with production markings from the 1980s as well as antipersonnel mines with production markings from the 2000s, indicating Russian origin, are stockpiled and used by Russian-supported separatists.[10] Ukrainian armed forces and the security services continue to confiscate caches of antipersonnel landmines along the front line, including MON-50 directional mines,[11] MON-90 directional mines,[12] PMN-1 and PMN-2 blast mines,[13] OZM-72 bounding fragmentation mines,[14] and POM-2 scatterable mines.[15]

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.[16] It has not provided a timeline of when it will complete the destruction of its stockpile and be in compliance with its obligation.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

In its Article 7 report for calendar year 2017, Ukraine declared a stockpile of 4,473,461 antipersonnel mines: 4,323,840 PFM-type and 149,016 POM-2 remotely-delivered mines, and 605 OZM-4 hand-emplaced bounding fragmentation mines.[20]

Stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed by Ukraine, 2011–2017[21]

Year

Quantity destroyed

2017

438,328

2016

652,840

2015

19,944

2014

576

2013

332,352

2012

22,604

2011

9,890

Total

1,476,534

 

From 1999 to 2010, Ukraine destroyed significant quantities of stockpiled antipersonnel mines, using both its own resources and international assistance.[22]

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 the destruction of stockpiles of PFM-type antipersonnel mines.[23]



[1]Draft Law on Mine Action in Ukraine,” 9 September 2018; and “Draft Law on Mine Action in Ukraine,” 12 October 2016.

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

[3] Ibid., Form E.

[4] 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.

[5] Russia stated in October 2017, “We note with great regret that the information on alleged violations of Ottawa Convention is not verified at all. As we can see with regard to events in Ukraine the UN Secretary General investigation mechanism envisaged by Ottawa Convention remains inactive. Moreover, at the 2015–2016 State Parties meetings no one even tried to question Kiev’s compliance with Ottawa Convention during the civil war that it unleashed in the South-East of the country.” Statement by Vladimir Yermakov, UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee Debate on Conventional Weapons, New York, 20 October 2017.

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

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

[9] Nick Torbet and Patrick Thompson, “21st Century Survey in Eastern Ukraine and the Use of Technology in Insecure Environments,” Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction, Vol. 21, Issue 2, July 2017.

[10] Evidence of markings from 2003: Security Service of the Ukraine (SBU), “SBU reveals three hidings with ammunition and Russian mine in ATO area,” 15 November 2016; and markings from 2010: Ukrainian Military TV, “Докази присутності російських військ на Донбасі,” YouTube.com, 1 March 2017.

[14] SBU, “SBU removes the military munitions,” 21 September 2018; SBU, “SBU blocks illegal sale of arms,” 19 September 2018; and SBU, “SBU uncovers ammunition of Russian production in ATO area,” 16 December 2017.

[16] 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 Intersessional Meetings, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[17] 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. 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.

[18] 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.

[19] 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.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and G, 1 April 2018.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 April 2012; 1 April 2013; 1 April 2014; 1 April 2015; and 1 April 2017.

[22] 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.

[23] Statement of Ukraine, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 20 May 2016.