Petal mines PFM-1 Ukraine used in Donetsk: What is known, the latest news on July 31, 2022

From afar, it is difficult to distinguish a mine from an ordinary leaf that has fallen from a tree.

From afar, it is difficult to distinguish a mine from an ordinary leaf that has fallen from a tree.

A photo: Dmitry STESHIN

On Saturday evening, July 30, a “bitch concert” began in Donetsk – according to the apt definition of the townspeople. Arrived in the long-suffering Kyiv region. It also flew to Kuibyshevsky, fell on Kirovsky … Anti-aircraft gunners fought in the sky with some unknown targets. At 9:35 p.m., something exploded over the city center with a flash that went beyond the usual evening cannonade.

Insidious mine-petals PFM-1

The air defense intercepted the attack on Donetsk with rocket-propelled missiles with cassettes filled with PFM-1 petal mines. For “Grad” cassettes with “petals” are called cynically “Decoration”, for “Hurricane” – “Incubator”. Cassettes can contain from 36 to 72 minutes.

Cassettes can contain from 36 to 72 minutes.  Photo: Telegram channel of the head of Donetsk administration

Cassettes can contain from 36 to 72 minutes. Photo: Telegram channel of the head of Donetsk administration

As soon as the information about the mining hit the Web, and in Donetsk it happens instantly, the residents became worried. Although, it is difficult to scare the townspeople with something. On the “petals” that fell on the roadway, cars began to burst – an explosion of low-powered anti-personnel, as a rule, tore the tire and deformed the disk. Then the army arrived and began to drive through the mined streets in tanks, crushing the insidious “petals”. Under the tracks, their explosions resembled harmless firecrackers. The city leadership advised everyone to stay at home for the time being and not interfere with the sappers.

Petals scattered in the park where children play

On the morning of July 31, a KP.RU special correspondent went to the Park of Forged Sculptures, one of the most favorite places for citizens. It was on this park that the main part of the mines fell out of the cassettes. The surrounding neighborhoods are dead, the roads are empty. Before parking the car, I got out and looked around the parking lot.

The trouble with the “petal” is that it is invisible, and after a few hours the rough surface of the mine body collects dust, pollen, small debris … Two weeks ago, I talked in this park with German journalist Alina Lipp, who came under criminal prosecution in her native Germany – “for supporting the Donbass and a special operation.” Now all the entrances to the park are blocked off, handwritten posters hang on the ropes: “Mines”.

An employee of the military prosecutor’s office approached. He has been sitting here on a bench since midnight, waiting for the sappers to finish inspecting the yards and take care of the park.

– So far, 15 pieces have been found, – the fighter explains, – these are only those mines that are lying on the paths or are visible from the paths. You need to check every meter, right there the children are walking!

– Why mine the city center, the park? What is the military meaning?

The fighter of the prosecutor’s office gave an unexpected version:

– I think they ran out of ammunition, they throw everything that is left.

Ukraine violated two international conventions at once

At first glance, there was a rational grain in this version. Just in recent weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have mined Izyum, Lisychansk, the railway station in Yasynuvata and the outskirts of Donetsk with “petals” according to the same scheme. The system and criminal intent are traced.

Criminal, because Ukraine, using petal mines, violates two conventions and one Protocol at once. She signed the first convention in Ottawa back in 1997. This convention verified by the UN General Assembly, obliges signatories to destroy stockpiles of anti-personnel mines and generally refrain from using them. Especially if these are mines without a self-liquidator, which destroys the “petal” within 40 hours. Ukraine did not begin to destroy its “petals”, according to unofficial data, it still has several millions of them left, and in the most dangerous version of PFM-1 (without self-liquidation). In Afghanistan, such mines have been lying on mountain paths and passes since the 80s, and continue to find their victims. By using “petals” without self-liquidators, Ukraine violates the Second Protocol of the Geneva Convention. And the third violation of international law by Ukraine – “Convention on Cluster Munitions” signed by Nezalezhnaya in 2008. That is, Ukraine has pledged not to use cluster munitions at all.

But, Ukraine does not care about all these conventions. The UN, by the way, too. Do you think there will be some kind of reaction from the “world community”? Only in the format “themselves” – “look, the separatists mined Donetsk!”.

We still can’t get used to the fact that we can only defend our interests ourselves, no matter what papers are signed, no one will ever condemn our enemies. At best, they will make a grimace of “preliminary disapproval” on their faces. And only, do not even scold. Therefore, themselves, all only themselves. What we do in the framework of a special operation.


What is the PFM-1 mine

PFM-1 high-explosive anti-personnel pressure mine “Petal”, index GRAU – 9N212, installed by means of remote mining, is designed to disable enemy personnel. Pressing force – from 5 to 25 kg. As a rule, it tears off the foot or lower leg to the knee, but it can be lucky. In rare cases, stepping on the “petal” gets off with a bruise and fractures. An analogue of the “petal” is the American mine BLU-43 – “Dragon’s Tooth”. Actively used in Vietnam in the 70s.


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