Some 300,000 square metres of Ukrainian territory have been contaminated by explosive devices "as a result of Russian aggression," claims Deputy Interior Minister Yevgen Yenin.

Ukrainian specialists have demined 300 explosive devices since the assault started on February 24, as well as one aerial bomb, says a senior Kiev official.
Ukrainian specialists have demined 300 explosive devices since the assault started on February 24, as well as one aerial bomb, says a senior Kiev official. (Reuters Archive)

Nearly half of Ukraine's territory has been contaminated by explosives as part of Russia's assault against its neighbour, a senior Kiev official has said, according to a local media report.

Deputy Interior Minister Yevgen Yenin said on Wednesday that some 300,000 square metres of Ukrainian territory have been "polluted" by explosive devices "as a result of Russian aggression," the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported. 

It was not immediately possible to verify the data.

Yenin added that Ukrainian specialists have demined 300 explosive devices since the assault started on February 24, as well as one aerial bomb. 

They have also cleared 14 hectares of territory.

More than a month of war 

Russia says it is carrying out a "special operation" since February 24 to disarm and "denazify" its neighbour. 

Western countries say Moscow's "invasion," the biggest assault on a European country since World War II, was entirely unprovoked.

Ukraine has sought a ceasefire without compromising on territory or sovereignty, though it has proposed adopting a neutral status in exchange for security guarantees. Russia opposes Ukraine joining the US-led NATO military alliance, and has cited its potential membership as a reason for the assault.

Western sanctions imposed on Russia as punishment for its offensive have largely isolated its economy from world trade but Moscow is still the biggest supplier of oil and gas to Europe.

Seeking to exert its leverage, Russia has demanded oil and gas payments be made in roubles by Friday, raising fears of energy shortages and boosting recessionary risks in Europe.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies