UNDP equips 1,010 State Service of Emergency of Ukraine deminers with support from EU, governments of Denmark, Japan and Sweden

Almost 80 percent of all the demining units of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine – will be fully equipped

April 5, 2024

From left to right: UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine Christophoros Politis, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine Jens Martin Alsbirk, Deputy Head of the SESU Roman Prymush, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Kateryna Pavlichenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Kuninori Matsuda, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Remi Duflot, and Counsellor, Head of the Reform Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden to Ukraine Adam Amberg.

Photo: Ksenia Nevenchenko / UNDP in Ukraine

KYIV, 4 April 2024 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, with generous funding from the European Union, the governments of Denmark, Japan and Sweden, has provided a substantial batch of demining and protective equipment to 202 demining units of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU), which is 80 percent of all the SESU capacities. 

The batch includes demining equipment such as detectors, demolition charges, ohmmeters; detection tools – GPS units, laser rangefinders, binoculars, and compasses; personal protective equipment – protective vests, helmets, visors, and knee and elbow pads; communication and electronic devices – portable and car radio stations, laptops and printers.

With Japanese funding, 95 demining teams will be fully equipped with demining and protective equipment. Japan’s contribution also includes an armoured vehicle that is already in Kherson. The governments of Denmark and Sweden will equip 85 demining teams; whilst 22 demining teams will receive full packages of protective and demining equipment thanks to the contribution from the European Union.

Speaking at the ceremony in Kyiv marking the delivery of the demining equipment to the SESU, H.E. Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine, highlighted that with the provision of the demining equipment, the Government of Japan was reaffirming its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine.

“Together, in partnership with UNDP and collaboration with international partners, the Government of Japan will continue supporting Ukraine’s journey towards recovery and peace, until the last mine is cleared.” Matsuda said.

Speaking at the ceremony, Remi Duflot, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine paid tribute to the bravery of SESU staff, stating: “On this International Mine Action Day, Ukraine serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating impact mines and other explosive ordnance inflict on human lives and economic activity.”

“The European Union is committed to accelerating demining efforts in Ukraine, including by exploring innovative technologies and new funding mechanisms, to ensure the land becomes safe for people to live and return to as soon as possible. Ukraine’s future depends also on this.”

Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Ihor Bezkaravainyi said that the transfer of the equipment signified strong international commitment to cooperation and partnership in safeguarding the citizens of Ukraine. 

“We at the Ministry of Economy take pride in our involvement in mine countermeasures, recognizing that every step and equipment handover allows us to save more lives,” Bezkaravainyi said.

“We thank our partners for their cooperation and dedication to their work.”

Kateryna Pavlichenko, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, underscored the tireless efforts of demining specialists, noting that 780,000 units of explosive objects have been neutralized since the onset of the full-scale conflict. 

“Beyond these figures and every meter of cleared land lie monumental efforts and bravery,” Pavlichenko said. “On behalf of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, I express our profound gratitude to those who risk their lives to secure Ukraine's freedom.”

Jens Martin Alsbirk, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine, reiterated Denmark’s unwavering support for the people of Ukraine and his country’s commitment to continue contributing to the mine clearance efforts. 

“The territory of Ukraine that needs to be cleared from mines is four times bigger than the territory of the country that I represent,” Alsbirk said. “The government of Denmark is determined to assist Ukraine to overcome this challenging period together.”

“It’s also important for Denmark to support those who suffer from mine explosives indirectly – for instance, farmers that have lost their jobs due to the mine-pollution of agricultural land.”

Adam Amberg, Counsellor, Head of the Reform Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden to Ukraine also noted the courageous work and resilience of the deminers of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"You bravely respond to crises despite heightened risks and provide vital support to those affected by the war,” Amberg said to the deminers. “For the Government of Sweden, it is our honour to support you.”

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine Christophoros Politis emphasized the urgent need to intensify mine action endeavours within Ukraine to safeguard security and revive economy. 

He highlighted Ukraine's trajectory toward a new era in mine action, saying that "the evolving situation in Ukraine necessitates a fresh perspective on humanitarian demining. We are privileged to contribute to this transformative journey and collaborate with the SESU, the Government of Ukraine, and our international partners to pioneer innovative methods for land liberation – leveraging both traditional approaches and cutting-edge technologies.”

During his acceptance speech for the equipment deliveries, Roman Prymush, Deputy Head of the SESU, thanked Ukraine’s international partners for their contributions, and said that “every deminer working in Kherson, Mykolaiv or Kyiv oblasts feels their support.”

"Every day, almost 1,700 SESU deminers work for the safety of those who live in Ukraine,” Prymush said.

“The amount of work is enormous, but, thanks to the international support, we have already tripled the number of demining units in Ukraine, and we aim to expand the number of deminers to 2,800 over the next two years.”


Ukraine is now one of the world’s most heavily mine-contaminated countries. In two years of full-scale war, landmines – along with unexploded bombs, artillery shells and other explosive remnants of war – have potentially contaminated over a quarter of Ukraine’s territory. Together with its partners, the UNDP in Ukraine has been working on fortifying the government's capabilities in mine action through strategy development and advancing mine action efforts with innovative solutions. Additionally, the UNDP has been actively providing crucial equipment, technology, expertise, and skills to empower mine action teams, enhancing the safety and efficiency of their work.

Recently, the UNDP and the BBC Media Action launched with the support of the Japanese government a new nationwide campaign to increase the safety of Ukrainian communities that are facing explosive ordnance risks.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org.