On Ukrainian land, and in the waters off the country’s coast, a danger looms that will be familiar to veterans of conflict the world over.
The technical term is “unexploded ordnance.” It can mean many things, all of them dangerous: land mines, put down by the Ukrainian resistance to deter a Russian advance; mines in the water, placed by both sides in an ongoing effort to control key lanes in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov; and the growing number of Russian missiles and explosives that have landed harmlessly but pose a risk of detonation. While the war continues, Ukrainians are working with international assistance to defuse these munitions and render the land safe for farming or travel — or just living.
This curation shows some of that work in progress — from Kyiv to Chernihiv, Kharkiv to the Zaporizhzhia region in the east. It is painstaking work, in terms of the time and care that must be taken; it is of course also extremely dangerous. And if done well, it can save a great many lives.
In Kyiv alone, some 36,000 weapons have already been removed from the land. That’s 36,000 reasons to be thankful.