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Video shows Ukraine using thermal imaging drones to try to locate mines left by Russia to kill and maim its soldiers

A pair of hands hold a screen with a thermal image of a field filled with white dots, some of which are Russian landminesA still of a CNN video showing a thermal imaging captured by Ukraine, where some of the white dots show Russian landmines.


  • Ukraine is using thermal imaging and drones to find mines left by Russian forces.
  • Ukraine’s counteroffensive is being hindered by dense Russian minefields.
  • Ukrainian soldiers showed CNN their anti-mine strategy from the trenches on the front line.

Ukraine is using thermal imaging to try to locate mines that Russian forces have placed to slow, injure, and kill its troops.

CNN visited frontline Ukrainian soldiers near the village of Robotine, where they were working from trenches to try to make progress against Russian forces positioned less than three miles away.

In their way are dense minefields placed by Russia.

The outlet filmed soldiers using a drone with a thermal camera, which clearly showed the mines, glowing, on the soldiers’ screen.

The mines showed up because they retain the heat from the sun while the earth cools, experts told CNN, adding that they’re most visible at dawn and dusk.

It’s not a “precise science,” but helps Ukraine see an “invisible enemy,” CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh, who was in the trenches with Ukraine’s soldiers, said.

The soldiers told CNN that after locating mines, they use special charges to blow them up so that their colleagues can move through the area. 

CNN said it arrived at the site a few hours after it was bombarded by Russian forces, and that they were told that hours after they left the soldiers came under a renewed attack, but repelled it.

The soldiers have to keep constantly hidden, Paton Walsh said. “This is the kind of threat they endure every day when just one piece of information can send them running.”

Olesksandr, part of Ukraine’s 15th National Guard Brigade, told CNN that “if the enemy sees the drone, he will unleash everything he has: artillery, tanks, and mortars.”

His colleague, Anton, said they have to constantly fight against traps laid by Russia. “And these are not made of one grenade, we call it a ‘bouquet.’ Grenades on top of another grenade.”

“There have been many scary moments,” he added. “Every time you go to work you step over your fear. Because who else will do it? Nobody. If someone else goes and gets hurt, you can’t forgive yourself.”

Reports of Ukrainians being killed and injured by mines are widespread.

A leading Ukrainian medical officer told The Guardian that mine are now second only to artillery as a cause of injury to Ukraine’s troops.

He also said his hospital had treated about 2,000 soldiers who lost limbs.

The New York Times reported that some Ukrainian soldiers have been blasted by mines as they try to help fellow soldiers hit by mines.

Earlier this month Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, told The Guardian that Ukraine was now the world’s most heavily mined country. He asked allied countries for additional resources to help clear the mines.

Ukraine has defended the pace of its counteroffensive, which so far has made small gains, given these conditions.

And experts previously told Insider that Western countries’ delays in sending weapons helped Russia lay such tough defenses.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he wanted the counteroffensive to begin earlier, but he felt he had to wait for more weapons to arrive.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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