Ukrainian forces airdropped banned PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines on the capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic on Wednesday night, Mayor Aleksey Kulemzin said.
The mayor wrote on his Telegram channel that mines were discovered on several streets in the northwestern part of the city.
“A bomb squad and rescuers have been working on the site since the early morning. A vehicle equipped with a loudspeaker is alerting local residents,” Kulemzin said, urging people to be vigilant and not approach the mines.
The small butterfly-shaped PFM-1 landmines are banned under the 1997 Ottawa Convention, of which Ukraine is part. Even when they do not kill the victim when stepped on, they often rip the person’s foot off.
Earlier, Lugansk People’s Republic authorities reported finding the PFM-1s in places left by Ukrainian troops after retreating.
Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of using internationally banned munitions, as well as shelling residential areas and other civilian targets.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.