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Russian forces helping locals by clearing mines left behind by Ukraine troops, says Moscow

The Russian military said it has taken control of the arsenal of the armed forces of Ukraine in an area of several hundred hectares in the Kharkiv region (Images & video courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Russia)

Russia on Saturday said that the servicemen from the engineering troops of its armed forces have carried out extensive humanitarian demining of settlements in the Kharkiv region from unexploded ordnance of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that its sapper units made "targeted visits at the request of local residents" to clear residential areas, household plots and farmland following which engineering reconnaissance was carried out on the spot assessing the situation and the demining group proceeded to clear the area from explosive objects.

"The discovered ammunition, if it is possible to transport it, is loaded into vehicles specially equipped for safe transportation with sand flooring and armoured plates. Explosive objects are transported to the landfill, placed in a trench and blown up using TNT charges," the ministry said.

The Russian military also took control of the arsenal of the armed forces of Ukraine with an area of several hundred hectares in the same region.

"The Ukrainian Armed Forces abandoned the arsenal with warehouses with thousands of tons of ammunition, including cannon artillery, mortars, multiple launch rocket systems, air defense weapons and small arms," said the Russian military.

It said that, in addition to Soviet-made ammunition, western-made mines and shells were also stored in the hangars of the arsenal.

In South Ukraine's Kherson, the Russians once again alleged that the Ukrainian nationalist units were using a local secondary school, located in close proximity to residential buildings, as a bunker.

"Judging by the positions prepared in advance – trenches and firing points – and the number of various weapons, the nationalists organized a whole fortified area in the children's educational institution. Burnt destroyed military equipment remained in the school yard and on the sports ground," said the Russian military after 'liberating' the settlement.

"In the basement of the school, the nationalists equipped places for recreation, cooking and a medical center. There was also a place for the manufacture of improvised explosive devices. Dozens of grenades and other explosive objects with self-tapping screws and nails were first examined by Russian military engineers, after which the dangerous finds were removed and destroyed," it added.

The Russians said that a large amount of weapons and ammunition was also found in the school building which was left by the Ukrainian forces who left their positions in a hurry.

"They also thought over the options for their withdrawal in advance. Several underground passages led from the school to nearby houses of civilians," said the Russian military.

It added that all found ammunition and captured weapons were taken out by Russian servicemen for further transfer to the units of the People's Militia of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

Meanwhile, a worried Ukraine said on Friday that the "threat of missile and air strikes" on the objects of civil and military infrastructure on its territory from Belarus remains.

"In the Mariupol direction, Russian enemy continued to launch air strikes on Mariupol and block our units in the Azovstal area. The personnel of a separate group of Russian troops in the so-called 'Transnistrian-Moldavian republic' also serve on a daily basis," said a statement from the Ukranian Defence Ministry.

Also Read: Ukrainian forces turning schools into bunkers, alleges Russia