"The Armed Forces of Ukraine have mined 90 percent of the territory of Debaltseve. It's necessary to carry out demining operations across the entire city. And not just from unexploded ordnance, or abandoned munitions. These are landmines, laid around the depot, the railway, and across stretches of territory, both marked and unmarked," Zakharchenko stated.
"I think that this territory has not seen such a large number of mined areas in any previous war, even in the Second World War," the official noted. "The Germans probably left less mines than the Ukrainian forces have," he added.
In the neighboring self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, sappers in the village of Chernuhino reported Friday that they have removed 1,183 mines and other explosive materials in and around a local poultry farm.
In April, 2014, Ukraine's armed forces launched a military operation against eastern Ukrainian territories which were unsatisfied with the political revolution which had resulted in a coup d'état in Kiev in February. Since then, the UN has estimated that over 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including civilians who were killed as Kiev forces shelled populated areas. Over a million refugees have left for Russia; hundreds of thousands more have been internally displaced or have attempted to flee to Europe.