Russian Troops Blow Up 24,000 Unexploded Mines and Shells 

NAGORNO KARABAKH, Azerbaijan – Russian soldiers have neutralized around 24,000 mines and explosives as part of a peacekeeping mission between Azerbaijan and Armenia following recent clashes.

A video footage of the same was filmed in the province of Martuni in the district of Khojavend. It shows the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. It was shared by the Russian Defense Ministry on Feb. 2.

In the video tweeted by the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian International Mine Action Centre can be seen de-mining the active mines from the Azerbaijan border.

“The 44-day war caused a stampede of Karabakh Armenian refugees into Armenia,” states an article published by the Jamestown Foundation.

“Their overwhelming majority came from Karabakh’s territory that remained under Armenian control throughout the war, whereas the territory that Azerbaijan succeeded in regaining had held a small share of pre-war ‘Nagorno’ Karabakh’s population. Following the November 10 ceasefire, the government in Yerevan and Russia’s ‘peacekeeping’ force have worked together to repatriate those refugees to Karabakh.”

Specialists from the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Ministry of Defense have been involved in de-mining the territory for a while now. For this purpose, they use modern de-mining equipment, including the Uran-6 mine-clearing robot as well as service dogs.

During the operation, engineers cleared about 859.3 hectares (8.6 square kilometers) of land from unexploded ordnance, bombs, and other explosive remnants of war. They worked on roads over 245.8 km in total and 962 housing structures, including 27 socially significant objects.

At the end of the operation, soldiers discovered and neutralized about 24,000 explosive objects.

Earlier, specialists of the International Mine Action Center of the Russian Armed Forces have accomplished mine-clearing operations in Palmyra. The Russian military servicemen have defused almost 18,000 explosive devices and cleared 825 hectares as well as 8,500 buildings. In the past, specialists also worked in Syria to conduct a mine-clearing operation in the eastern areas of Aleppo city, which had been liberated from insurgents.

Russian peacekeeping forces test out bombs in a field. (Russian Defense Ministry/Newsflash)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan signed an agreement calling for a ceasefire in the disputed region on Nov 10 last year.

The document provides for the exchange of prisoners between the countries, the transfer of a number of regions from Armenia to Azerbaijan, the return of refugees to Karabakh, and the introduction of Russian peacekeepers in the region to monitor the terms of the ceasefire.

According to the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, “Discovered explosive objects and unexploded ammunition are removed and destroyed at a specially equipped landfill.  Ammunition that cannot be evacuated is destroyed on the spot with all necessary safety measures provided during blasting operations.”

The Ministry also states that the assistance of Russian peacekeepers, the restoration of vital engineering communications continues in the areas affected by the war.

(Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Shirish Vishnu Shinde.)

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