PREYTOTOEUNG: Cambodian experts, whose country has the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most contaminated by landmines, walked a group of Ukrainian soldiers through a minefield being actively cleared Thursday, hoping their decades of experience would help the Europeans in their own efforts to remove Russian mines at home.
Wearing protective body armor, helmets and visors, the group of 15 Ukrainians were guided along cleared routes through the former battlefield in northwestern Battambang province by trainers with the Cambodian Mine Action Center, a government agency that oversees the clearing of land mines and unexploded ordnance in the country.
Capt. Arsenii Diadchenko, who led the Ukrainian team, said the training so far has been “quick and fast” but that they were learning good lessons.
“It will be very helpful in clearing our area of Russian mines,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the exercise.
Cambodia is still littered with mines after three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998, with an estimated 4 to 6 million unexploded devices still uncleared.
The NGO Landmine Monitor in its 2022 report listed both Cambodia and Ukraine among the nine countries with “massive” mine contamination, meaning they had more than 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles) of uncleared fields.