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From battlefields to farmlands: How a resilient Ukrainian farmer is clearing his mine-infested fields

A Ukrainian farmer has come up with a novel way to remove mines left in his fields after Russia’s invasion — he’s kitted out his tractor with protective panels stripped from Russian tanks and operates it by remote control, as Vitalii Hnidyi reports for Reuters.

After Russian forces were driven back from parts of eastern Ukraine by a Ukrainian counteroffensive last year, mines remained in many fields, making it perilous for farmers. Oleksandr Kryvtsov, a general manager at his agricultural company, decided he couldn’t wait for help from overworked official de-miners to clear his field.

Instead, he designed a remote-controlled tractor that could withstand blasts. Using armour from damaged Russian military vehicles to protect the body of his tractor, he bought a system that would enable one of his team to operate the tractor remotely from a digger’s bucket suspended in the air nearby.

“We started doing this just because the crop-sowing time has come and we can’t do anything because the rescue services are very busy,” Kryvtsov told Reuters.

“We ran over an anti-tank mine. The protection got blown out (but) the tractor is safe,” he said.” Everyone’s alive and safe. The equipment was restored and repaired.”

Source: Reuters. Read the full story here
Photo: Oleksandr Kryvtsov’s mine-clearing tractor. Credit Reuters/Vitalii Hnidyi
Video: Credit Reuters

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