Business news from Ukraine

Defense Ministry has already recognized 30 thousand square kilometers of Ukraine as safe from mines

Currently, already 30 thousand square kilometers of de-occupied territories of Ukraine are recognized as such, which do not contain evidence of contamination by explosive objects, it is more than 17% of the preliminary assessment of contamination, reported in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

“Today, thanks to our joint work, the area of contaminated territories has already decreased by 30 thousand square kilometers. This means that in these territories were not found or were neutralized detected explosive objects,” – said the head of the Main Department of mine action, civil protection and environmental safety of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Colonel Ruslan Beregulia.

He also emphasized that now the most contaminated remain Kherson, Kharkiv and Mykolayiv regions, where more than 50% of all incidents with explosive objects among civilians have occurred.

According to the colonel, while carrying out demining activities, a comprehensive approach is applied, which, among other things, provides for chemical analysis of soils of agricultural lands for the presence of hazardous substances.

The head of the Main Department of Mine Action also noted that now 78 mechanized demining vehicles of both domestic and foreign production are used for demining of de-occupied territories from explosive objects by demining groups of security and defense forces, as well as by mine action operators.

The ministry recalled that initially the area of potentially explosive contaminated de-occupied territories in Ukraine was estimated at 174 thousand square kilometers, of which 14 thousand square kilometers are water areas.


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“Kyivstar starts cooperation with SHERIFF holding in framework of humanitarian demining in Ukraine

Kyivstar, the largest electronic communications operator, and SHERIFF, a holding of security companies, including SHERIFF Demining, which is a certified mine action operator, have signed a memorandum of cooperation.

Ukraine is currently the most mined country in the world. According to the State Emergency Service, about 175 thousand square kilometers of territory are contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance. That is why Kyivstar and SHERIFF Demining are starting to work on a technology for humanitarian demining operators.

The companies will jointly test RTK signal correction services, which will ensure high accuracy of mapping contaminated areas and marking explosive objects.

“Helping to rebuild the country is an important mission not only for Kyivstar, but also for the entire Ukrainian business. To speed up the process of demining and rebuilding the country, we are ready to share our experience in implementing the latest technologies that will save lives of Ukrainians,” comments Ilya Poltakov, Kyivstar’s Director of New Business Development. “In particular, for safe demining it is important to ensure the identification of the exact coordinates of mines and the boundaries of contaminated areas. This requires high-quality GNSS equipment with RTK technology support.”

Kyivstar will provide its partners with access to RTK technology and provide recommendations on the selection and use of GNSS receivers. The company’s specialists will also conduct analytical research to test positioning and location technologies.

“We expect that cooperation with Kyivstar will help us to significantly improve the accuracy of explosive ordnance detection and subsequent demining. This will allow us to clean up contaminated areas faster and safer and return them to peaceful life,” commented Yevhen Antypenko, SHERIFF Director.

About Kyivstar

Kyivstar is the largest Ukrainian electronic communications operator, which as of December 2023 served about 24 million mobile subscribers and more than 1.1 million Home Internet subscribers. The company provides services using a wide range of mobile and fixed technologies, including 4G, Big Data, Cloud solutions, RTK  cybersecurity services, digital TV, etc. Kyivstar is developing new telecom technologies in Ukraine and plans to invest USD 600 million in this area over the next three years. The company is helping the country overcome the challenges of wartime and has allocated over UAH 1.8 billion over the past two years to support the Armed Forces, subscribers, local communities, and charitable initiatives. The sole shareholder of Kyivstar is the international VEON Group headquartered in the Netherlands. The Group’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ (New York) and Euronext (Amsterdam) stock exchanges. Kyivstar has been operating in Ukraine for more than 25 years and is recognized as the largest taxpayer in the telecom market, the best employer and a socially responsible company.

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SHERIFF Security Holding is a national security operator that has been operating in Ukraine since 2003 and is a leader in the security services market. The company offers the maximum portfolio of services in its field: demining (certified mine action operator), a license to provide collection services and a NBU permit for a cash processing and transfer center, physical security, fire alarm maintenance and monitoring, fire extinguisher recharging, installation of video surveillance systems (including analytical systems) and access control, monitoring and response to burglar alarms, as well as Transfer customer support services, cargo escort, armored taxi, and other services. More than 40,000 clients have entrusted their security to SHERIFF.

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Work of the non-governmental National Association for Humanitarian Demining has been launched in Ukraine, its head Meri Hakobyan said on Monday during presentation of association.

The work of the non-governmental National Association for Humanitarian Demining has been launched in Ukraine, its head Meri Hakobyan said on Monday during the presentation of the association.

“The key mission of the association will be to promote the rapid and professional clearance of Ukraine’s territories of explosive hazards with the involvement of all interested stakeholders, including mine clearance equipment manufacturers, accredited demining operators, and government agencies,” she said.

Among the main directions of Hakobyan’s activity she singled out joining efforts and communication with state authorities on humanitarian demining, development of recommendations on improvement of normative-legal support in the sphere of humanitarian demining, assistance in improving the quality of professional training of industry specialists, development, discussion and making proposals on reasonable types of classifiers, standards, operational reliability and safety of demining, raising public awareness,

The primary task of the Association will be the preparation of the state professional standard of the new profession “Humanitarian Demining Deminer”, as well as the creation of a system and methodology for training such deminers, preparation of amendments to the law of Ukraine on “Mine Action” and communication with the media.

As Deputy Minister of Economy Ihor Bezkaravaynyy emphasized, the National Association for Humanitarian Demining is an initiative coming from business and civil society and may become a precondition for the formation of a demining market in the state.

In particular, he said, there are currently 32 humanitarian demining operators in the country, of which about 20 are Ukrainian in the status of Limited Liability Companies.

“This shows that the Ukrainian business goes into the sphere of demining, is ready to invest resources, money, to develop in this direction and develop the market,” – said the Deputy Minister.

In turn, the Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine Kuninori Matsuda said that one of the priorities of the Japanese government is precisely the provision of assistance to Ukraine in the field of humanitarian demining.

“We have been working with the Cambodian demining center for 25 years. We have developed many methodologies and will share our own developments and technologies with Ukraine … Japan will support the entire Ukrainian demining sector until the last mine in Ukraine is cleared,” he said.

He recalled that the Japanese government has already transferred to Ukraine 30 special tractors, dozens of wagons and pickup trucks to locate mines and another 22 special mine clearance vehicles will be transferred in June this year.

Ruslan Beregulya, head of the Main Directorate of Mine Action of the Defense Ministry, said that 950 people have been affected by explosive objects since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Of these, 289 have died and 661 have been injured or maimed.

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UAH 97 mln from United24 to be used for demining – Ministry of Economy

More than UAH 97 million transferred to the account of the Ministry of Economy to finance humanitarian demining activities within the United24 platform will be used to purchase demining equipment, the press service of the Ministry of Economy reports.

“These funds will be distributed between the State Emergency Service and the State Special Transport Service for the following purposes,” the statement said.

In particular, to help the SSTS purchase a heavy-duty remote mechanized demining machine (analogous to MV-10).

Also for the purchase of 400 protective fences and 400 protective aprons for humanitarian deminers for the SES.

To purchase two truck tractors for the SES to transport remote mechanized demining vehicles.

For the purchase of three armored pyrotechnic vehicles of light type for the transportation of explosive devices for the SES.

It is reported that Deputy Minister of Economy Ihor Bezkaravaynyi also addressed the applicants with a proposal to continue to emphasize the purchase of domestically produced equipment.


Donors pledge EUR0.5 bln to help Ukraine with demining

The total amount of pledges to help Ukraine with humanitarian demining, confirmed on Wednesday by participants of the first such special high-level international donor conference in Zagreb, is almost EUR0.5 billion, said Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović.
“The 34 participating states expressed their clear political support for Ukraine in the field of mine action and maintained their political commitments… The total amount of these contributions is almost EUR0.5 billion,” he said at a briefing after the first day of the conference.
According to him, additional contributions have been and will be made in the form of equipment, materials and expert assistance.
“Some countries have also made commitments that will be implemented in cooperation with international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Program,” Bozhynovych added.
He emphasized that the conference made it clear that Ukraine’s partners will join forces and act together at the national, European and international levels to identify as soon as possible the threats to the status quo posed by mines and explosive remnants of war.
“We emphasize the importance of using the most modern technologies, knowledge and experience, fully realizing that this is vital for the safety of Ukrainian citizens, as well as for the economic, social, environmental and all other aspects of post-war recovery and development of Ukraine,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He reminded that the EU Council is currently discussing a 4-year EUR 50 billion Ukraine Facility program to help Ukraine, and once approved, it will be very important to allocate part of these funds for demining.
“We hope that the conference that took place today confirmed these expectations and that it will be properly reflected in the upcoming rounds of negotiations in the Council and approved by the European Commission,” added Bozhynovych.
He also welcomed Switzerland’s announcement to organize, as a follow-up to the Zagreb event, the next international donor conference on humanitarian demining in Ukraine next October in Geneva.
On Thursday, the second day of the conference, there will be an expert discussion of detailed demining measures and activities in Ukraine.
According to a study conducted by the World Bank, the Ukrainian government, the European Commission and the UN, the cost of humanitarian demining in the year after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion was estimated at over EUR34 billion out of the total cost of reconstruction and recovery of EUR383 billion. At the same time, the full extent of the contamination remains unclear due to the ongoing hostilities and occupation of the territory.
In the spring, the Ukrainian government estimated the priority funding needs for humanitarian demining this year at $400 million.

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Ukraine and Croatia agree to cooperate in demining

An intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of demining was signed on Tuesday in Zagreb by First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyrydenko and Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Croatia Davor Božinović in the presence of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine reports.

“Ukraine is very grateful to the Croatian people and the Croatian government for the political, military, financial and humanitarian support that our country and Ukrainians have received since the beginning of the large-scale invasion… And today, Ukraine needs Croatia’s experience in demining and reconstruction and rehabilitation,” Svyrydenko said during a conversation with Plenkovic.

She also thanked Croatia for the programs aimed at rehabilitation of Ukrainian defenders and children of Ukrainian soldiers.

Speaking during the signing of the agreement on cooperation in the field of demining, Svyrydenko noted that Croatian-made demining machines are already operating in Ukrainian fields, and in the summer, Ukrainian and Croatian manufacturers agreed to localize the production of such machines in Ukraine.

“Today we are strengthening our cooperation. The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in demining launches a new stage of cooperation between governments, experts, demining specialists, and manufacturers of both countries,” said the First Deputy Prime Minister.

The agreement envisages cooperation in the following areas: non-technical and technical survey, demining, and territory clearance; public education on the risks associated with explosive ordnance; assistance to mine victims; and development of a regulatory framework and standard procedures in the field of mine action.

In addition, it provides for trainings for specialists, exchange of experience among experts and teachers in training demining specialists, transfer of expert knowledge and best practices; exchange of knowledge on the production of protective equipment, mine detection and demining equipment, and training and certification of mine-sniffing dogs.

During the meeting in Zagreb, the parties also discussed strengthening cooperation between the countries in the economic sphere and in the area of reconstruction.