According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, 1205 people have been injured by landmines since the conflict in Donbas began. 802 of them are military personnel and 403 are civilians, including 68 children.
Twelve-year-old Mykola was injured in the Volodarske village, near Mariupol, in the summer of 2015. His friends and him stumbled upon unexploded landmines, and he lost both legs and his arm as a result. Mykola has had 18 operations and underwent rehabilitation in Canada, where he learnt how to walk with prosthetics.
Halo trust is an international organization, which demines the conflict zone territories in Donbas. The Halo team works in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions where active battles took place in 2014-2015. Nevertheless, the deminers expect to find the biggest amount of explosive remnants in a 30-kilometer buffer zone along the frontline.
Currently the hostilities are ongoing, so access there is limited.
“You always have to concentrate,” says Oleksandr, a worker of the organization. “We often have a rest, so it was easier to look for them.”
Watch Hromadske’s new episode of 'The Grey Zone of Eastern Ukraine,' Hromadske's series about areas along the Donbas frontline that journalists never usually risk to visit.