MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian Defense Ministry has summoned bomb disposal experts to Chechnya for a mine-clearing effort in the republic, where Russia fought two wars against separatists in the last two decades, the chief military engineer said on Wednesday.
“Sappers will inspect 5,000 hectares [12,000 acres] of farmland,” Maj.-Gen. Yury Stavitsky said.
The de-mining problem has been felt acutely in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republics. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has repeatedly expressed concern over the situation in Chechnya, where he said at least 2,100 people, including 150 children, had been killed by mines as of last October.
Stavitsky also said a special sappers battalion consisting of contract servicemen was being trained in the Moscow Region and would be sent to the southern military district, including Chechnya, in May.