TheVoiceOfJoyce After reading this harrowing story of survival and invention, I have great respect for Ukrainian ingenuity. Their farms were destroyed by Russian forces. The Russians forces sent to the front littered farms with mines and didn’t have the good sense to have cows butchered for meat? Instead, they left dead animals, 1000’s of land mines and dead comrades & Ukrainians. The Russians will be defeated. It will take a decade to rebuild Ukraine. Looking on from afar, I don’t see bragging rights for Putin or any self styled despot in the 21 st C. The global community needs to concentrate on innovative energy solutions.

We are seeing a lot of anti-lift devices, a lot of booby traps and two or three mines being placed on top of each other deliberately,” said Mike Newton, who runs the Halo Trust regional headquarters. “But as you’ve seen, farmers just can’t wait, and we completely sympathise with that. People just need to get out and make a living, and they do that in the most incredible circumstances and there’s a great degree of innovation.”

Modern mine-clearing technology is beginning to arrive in Ukraine. On the outskirts of Izium, not far from Husarivka farm, a Croatian-made robot mine-clearer the size of a large bulldozer is being used by the regional emergency services to clear land under damaged electricity pylons so that repair work can begin.

It will be months until that work is completed. Meanwhile, some local farmers have made low-budget approximations of the commercial robots. At Oleksandr Kryvtsun’s farm at Hrakove, about 40 miles north of Izium, the workers have welded bits of an abandoned Russian tank and armoured car on to an old tractor and its harrow and then wired it up to a battery-powered remote controller. The resulting machine looks like it belongs in a Mad Max film. The operator sits at a safe distance in the scoop of a bulldozer made comfortable with a wooden crate and some cushions and works the remote control panel, running the tractor up and down the fields, triggering mines.

“We realised we couldn’t wait to start planting so we took means into our own hands. We saw how the foreign machines looked and made something similar with our hands,” Kryvtsun said.

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