Russia likely trying to use ‘deeply controversial, indiscriminate’ mines in Ukraine: UK intelligence

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Russia has likely tried to deploy “deeply controversial, indiscriminate” anti-personnel mines as Moscow ramps up its assaults on Ukraine, according to the U.K.’s defense ministry.  

The use of PFM-1 and PFM-1S mines in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and elsewhere may cause mass casualties, a Monday intelligence update from the ministry warns. 

The Soviet-era “butterfly mine” was “used to devastating effect in the Soviet-Afghan War where they allegedly maimed high numbers of children who mistook them for toys,” officials said, and the old weapons are likely less reliable now, decades later.

The U.K. Ministry of Defence didn’t cite sources in its intelligence report, though some media have reported thousands the butterfly mines have already been deployed in Donetsk, in the Donbas region.

The warning comes as Russia attacked the Donetsk-region cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka over the weekend and, according to Ukraine, shelled the city of Nikopol, located across the river from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Both sides blame each other for an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Ukraine says damaged radiation sensors and hurt a worker — and which Russia has held since March.

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