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Ukrainian tractor driver killed while spraying

In the village of Kienka near Chernihiv, a tractor hit a Russian TM-62M anti-tank mine during field work. The mine, which can be placed mechanically or by hand, was triggered by the vehicle and exploded. The tractor operator was taken to the hospital in critical condition but later died from his injuries.

Experts with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, together with explosives technicians of the National Police, checked the surrounding area for other explosive devices and found an additional TM-62M anti-tank mine. Typically, an anti-tank mine, which is designed to use against vehicles, has a much larger explosive charge than an anti-personnel mine that is designed for use against humans. In general, an anti-tank mine has a 17-pound explosive charge, but it can vary greatly. An anti-personnel mine usually contains a little over a pound of explosives.

Russian TM-62M anti-tank mine
Courtesy of Iurii Mykhailov

Because mines are masked, making it impossible to tell if fields are mined without special equipment, some producers set the safety of their employees as a high priority and decided not to cultivate potentially dangerous fields. Unfortunately, other producers were willing to take that risk.

tractor blown up by Russian TM-62M anti-tank mine
Courtesy of Iurii Mykhailov

The Ukrainian army has already liberated thousands of square kilometers of Ukrainian land. The priority in clearing mines is for cities in the liberated territories. Russians placed mines near houses, buildings, playgrounds, etc., so demining in the liberated territories could take years.

Even in the unoccupied territories, there are a lot of places that were mined by the Ukrainian army to create defense lines. For example, there are more than 10 parks in Kyiv that are mined, and Kyiv authorities warn citizens about dangers visiting them. Because the threat, though little, of new attacks on Kyiv remains, these parks are not being removed.

About the Author: Iurii Mykhailov is an agricultural journalist in Ukraine. He is a contributor to Successful Farming.

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