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Human Rights Watch records numerous cases of banned landmines used by Ukrainian forces

11 people were killed near the city of Izyum

WASHINGTON, January 31. /TASS/. The Ukrainian armed forces have repeatedly used banned anti-personnel landmines, which resulted in 11 people being killed near the city of Izyum, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement published on its website Tuesday.

"Ukraine should investigate its military’s apparent use of thousands of anti-personnel landmines in and around the eastern city of Izium," the report reads. "Ukraine is a state party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits any use of anti-personnel mines."

"Ukrainian forces appear to have extensively scattered landmines around the Izium area, causing civilian casualties and posing an ongoing risk," said Steve Goose, HRW’s Arms Division director. In the meantime, he noted that Russia’s actions during the conflict do not "justify Ukrainian use of these prohibited weapons."

Human Rights Watch documented the use of the PFM-1 ‘Petal’ landmines in nine districts of Izyum and confirmed that 11 people were killed by these charges. In addition, medical workers provided aid to about 50 civilians, including five children, injured by these landmines. About half of all cases involved trauma of the foot or leg, consistent with the nature of injuries caused by PFM-1 detonation.

Meanwhile, the HRW notes that its employees were unable to collect any proof that Russian forces used ‘Petal’ landmines during the special military operation in Ukraine.

The PFM-1 ‘Petal’ is a pressure-activated anti-personnel landmine. Such explosive devices can be installed remotely via cluster rocket artillery munitions. Its body is made from polyethylene colored in either khaki or brown, which complicates its detection. The landmine is particularly dangerous for civilians, because its unusual shape makes it difficult to identify as an explosive.