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Russia-Ukraine conflict: UK says Russia very likely deploying anti-personnel mines in Donbas region

Igor Konovchenko / Pixabay

In the fifth month of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its forces are seeking to take complete control of Ukraine’s eastern territory of Donbas. The UK’s defense ministry said Russian forces are likely setting anti-personnel mines in the region.

The British defense ministry said on Twitter that Russian forces are very likely deploying anti-personnel mines in its defensive lines in the Donbas region, specifically citing the use of such weapons in the areas of Donetsk and Kramatorsk.

The ministry stressed that the use of such mines is “controversial” and “indiscriminate.”

“Russia is highly likely deploying anti-personnel mines to protect and deter freedom of movement along its defensive lines in the Donbas. These mines have the potential to inflict widespread casualties amongst both the military and the local civilian population,” said the ministry.

“In Donetsk and Kramatorsk, Russia has highly likely attempted employment of PFM-1 and PFM-1S scatterable anti-personnel mines. Commonly called the ‘butterfly mine,’ the PFM-1 series are deeply controversial, indiscriminate weapons,” said the ministry, adding that there is also a chance that the Soviet-era stockpile that Russia has will have degraded over time and would now be deemed unreliable and unpredictable.

However, the ministry said the mines would still pose a threat to civilians and humanitarian de-mining operations.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the United States were granted authorization by a judge to seize a $90 million airbus plane owned by the sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch, the prosecutors announced Monday.

Skoch is a member of the Russian Duma, the lower house of its parliament, and was previously sanctioned by the US in 2018 for his alleged connections to Russian organized crime groups.

Skoch was further sanctioned by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Skoch, who is a member of Vladimir Putin’s Russia United Party, owned the plane through shell companies and trusts tied to his spouse, according to the prosecutors. Court papers showed that the plane is currently in Kazakhstan.

Skoch’s yacht was seen anchored in Dubai back in June, as the nation became a refuge for Russian elites to evade the sanctions of the West on Putin’s allies.

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