Manchester-based landmine charity given $8 million grant from US government for work in Ukraine

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) have been working in Ukraine since April 2022. Credit: Sean Sutton

A Manchester-based landmine charity has been given an $8 million grant from the US government to continue its work clearing landmines and unexploded ordnance in Ukraine.

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) find and destroy landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs in places affected by conflict. 

A team has been in Ukraine since April 2022 helping to clear explosives left over by the war, as well as educating communities about the dangers and how they can stay safe.

The $8 million funding has been awarded by the US State Department's Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement, the world’s single largest financial supporter of humanitarian de-mining.

Large areas of Bodoryanka were destroyed during intense and sustained bombardments. Credit: Sean Sutton

The charity says the money will allow them to "significantly scale-up" its work in Ukraine, and establish new de-mining teams.

The funding will also enable MAG to deliver 1,300 risk education sessions to vulnerable people.

The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor has recorded the use of at least seven types of antipersonnel landmines by Russian forces in Ukraine, as well as confirmed evidence of victim-activated booby-traps and improvised explosive devices.

There is also evidence of Russia's extensive and indiscriminate use of cluster munitions, in violation of international humanitarian law.

A woman walks past unexploded ordnance on Andriivka main street in Ukraine. Credit: Sean Sutton

MAG Chief Executive Darren Cormack said: "One year on from the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the needs in that country are huge.

"The use of heavy artillery, landmines and cluster munitions, both in rural and populated areas, is creating a devastating and deadly legacy that will threaten the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens for years to come.

"This funding will enable us to support communities facing the devastating consequences of war on a daily basis.

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