At the start of May, 23 year old Oksana Balandina from the town of Lysychansk, Luhansk oblast, became the star of news reports around the world. She and her partner, Viktor Vasyliv, got married right in her Lviv hospital room. During their first dance, her now-husband, Viktor, spun Oksana around in his own arms - she had lost both legs and four fingers on her left arm after stepping on a landmine.
On the 27th of March, 2022, Oksana and Viktor had been returning from a grocery store, and decided to take a familiar shortcut home. She went first. At some point, she sensed danger ahead, and turned around to tell him. Just then, the landmine went off. The medical crew that arrived could not come down to the injured woman due to the risk of setting off other landmines. Viktor had to personally provide his beloved with first aid and, with her father’s help, carried her to the ambulance in his own arms.
Due to the full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine has become one of the most landmine-ridden countries in the world. As of today, approximately 220,000 sq. km of land is in need of demining. To facilitate their work, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine requires specialized transport, such as Armtrac 400-type or DOK-ING MV-10 direct mine clearance vehicles. This model is unique and is the most effective in its class when it comes to defusing landmines. Such machines can be controlled from a distance of up to 1,000 meters, which means that sapper lives will be protected as well. The pyrotechnical departments of SES, which are responsible for defusal on Ukrainian territories, need five such vehicles.