Ukraine University to Establish Department for Detection, Removal of Landmines; Japan to Assist with Training

A member of the national police special demining unit conducts a demining operation in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in October 2023.

Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Ukraine will establish a department specializing in teaching on the detection and removal of anti-personnel landmines, it has been learned.

Japan, which has extensive experience and advanced technology in mine clearance in many areas including in Cambodia, will cooperate in this project.

As the Russian military is using a large number of landmines in Ukraine, it is estimated that it will take 70 years to fully remove them.

There is a risk that Russian landmines and unexploded ordnance may detonate in areas covering about 30% of Ukraine with about 5 million inhabitants.

With these concerns in mind, the university aims to train students for immediate employment.

The new department is to provide two types of courses: a four-year degree program, and a short-term course that will train professionals in less than 100 hours of classes and training. The four-year program is scheduled to begin in September.

The university will start the course with about 50 students in its first year and envisions increasing the number of students to several hundred in the future. The establishment of a department specializing in mine clearance is rare.

Japan is expected to cooperate by providing equipment, such as mine clearance equipment, and training by retired officers of the Self-Defense Forces. The university and a Japanese company confirmed the cooperation in a memorandum of understanding signed at the end of January.

The classes will train experts in humanitarian demining, using the latest technology such as unmanned aerial vehicle detection and robotics for mine clearance.

The university’s President Mykhailo Zghurovskyi told The Yomiuri Shimbun that he is looking forward to Japan’s contribution to the development of the educational program. He said he hopes to nurture human resources who can contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction.