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After the departure of the Russians and the rain of bombs, the hell of the mines for the Ukrainians


In Gostomel, a town north of kyiv, the Russian bombardments were very intensive. So much so that for a month, the inhabitants were forced to live holed up in cellars or makeshift shelters. But the Russians gone, the threat has changed, and is now in the ground. Europe 1 was able to follow Ukrainian soldiers who demarcate these sectors in the north of kyiv district by district.


Gostomel, right next to Antonov Airport north of kyiv, was the epicenter of the Russian bombings. For a month, the threat came from the sky for its inhabitants forced to live holed up in cellars or makeshift shelters. But since the departure of the Russian troops, the threat is now under their feet. Shells that did not explode, anti-personnel equipment and even grenade traps… Europe 1 was able to follow Ukrainian soldiers who cleared these sectors north of kyiv district by district.

“We do this surgically”

“Wait, don’t touch the wire. No, not with your hands”, recommends a Ukrainian soldier who opens the way to progress meter by meter in this district of Gostomel, ravaged by bombs. “If we Ukrainians sometimes set traps next to our positions to protect them, we do that surgically. But those stupid Russians did it with explosives, it can do a lot of damage “, groans this soldier who defused the day before a device consisting of a wire connected to a grenade.

On the other side of the wall, a closed box is placed a little too prominently on the sidewalk. A few centimeters ahead, a glass jar with soup inside. The soldiers are careful. “You take this jar because you are hungry. Afterwards, you want to look in the trunk. And in the trunk, there is a mine. And there, you are no longer hungry because you are dead”, warned not without humor another soldier.

Gostomel, one of the most bombed towns in the region

The relics of war have redrawn the landscape of Gostomel, arguably one of the most heavily bombed towns in the region. It took a day of inspection to defuse 18 suspicious devices found in an abandoned armored transport vehicle. That’s not counting the missiles or rockets embedded in the bitumen that never exploded.

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“There are a lot of playgrounds around here. We really have to inspect everywhere. Because if a child sees something like that, he’s sure to pick it up,” said Oksana, a resident. . Another resident, Yuri, even advises his relatives not to come back. “My neighbors call me to ask me if they can come and pick up their things. I tell them it’s still dangerous,” he explains.

According to the deminers, a day of bombardment is equivalent to a month of demining. It is a colossal work, certainly interminable. But it is an essential prerequisite for the return of life to this city where the mayor died at the start of the war while distributing bread to his constituents.

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