SHOCKING VIDEO shows 2 killed in naval mine blast despite warnings not to swim in the area
ODESA, UKRAINE: Two unsuspecting beachgoers were tragically killed when a mine detonated as they took a dip in the water.
Ukrainian media shared CCTV footage on Sunday, August 14, showing the blast that injured two more beachgoers at the Black Sea coastal town. Odesa authorities have repeatedly urged residents not to swim in the waters by the port city and even closed the beaches this summer fearing Russian airstrikes on crowds. Video footage showed a number of people on the shoreline when the explosion sent the water spraying upwards. Local reports suggested two swimmers were killed instantly in the blast.
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Following the horrifying incident, a city council spokesman said "a group of men" had "ignored the announced restrictions on visiting the coast and swimming in coastal waters." It came shortly after another reported detonation of a landmine at an Odesa beach in June, in which a father was killed in front of his family. The 50-year-old man from Donetsk was instantly killed after unwittingly stepping on the mine.
"Police urge residents and guests of the Odesa region to strictly follow the rules of martial law," regional authorities warned beachgoers in a statement. "Do not go to the coastal protection zone of the Black Sea, and do not swim in the mined sea. While swimming in the sea in one of the villages of Odesa district, an explosion of an unknown object killed a 50-year-old man in front of his wife, son, and friend. The latter miraculously did not suffer, because he went swimming with the victim." The officials added, "Once again, a strict ban on visiting the coast and swimming in the sea are security measures that are life-threatening if neglected."
The explosion of a Ukrainian small sea mine near Zatoka, Odessa region, as a result of which two people were killed and two were injured.#Ukraine pic.twitter.com/rWnfkPmKXv— 301 Military (@301military) August 14, 2022
Thousands of landmines are believed to have been laid in Ukraine since the Russian invasion of the country in late February, particularly in population centers such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, and the Donbas region. According to Human Rights Watch, some of these mines are activated by contact, while others detonate at random intervals and thereby pose a considerable threat to civilians. This is after Ukraine signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, although Russia did not become a party to the agreement.
Last week, the Biden administration announced an $89 million funding package to clear Ukraine of landmines. The financial aid will reportedly pay for 100 de-mining teams over the next year in addition to training civilians on how to safely dispose of the explosive devices. "As Russian forces retreated from Northern Ukraine, they had booby traps and improvised explosive devices in food facilities, car trunks, washing machines, doorways, hospital beds, and even the bodies of those killed by the invasion," a Ukrainian official said in a statement. "We expect this to be one of the largest land mine and unexploded ordnance challenges in decades."
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It's worth noting that Ukraine has accused Russia of using naval mines as "uncontrolled drifting ammunition" to deliberately disrupt shipping and food routes. In 2020, a Russian diplomat told the UN General Assembly that Moscow "shares the goals of the treaty and supports a world free of mines" but at the same time views them as "an effective way of ensuring the security of Russia's borders." Russia has also accused Ukraine of placing landmines in its own towns and cities, the Daily Mail reported.