Forpost Baltic Plus
Safe with us
Post -war UXO safety remains a live issue today for all Russian regions that had ever been military operations areas. So there is a constant danger for the construction workers and further users of the property which has been built, reconstructed or developed in any other way in such land or water areas. At a time of war the ammunition was produced at removed to the Siberian fields military factories by women and under-age youngsters who used to work two shifts a day and catch up on sleep near the tools. Percentage of ordnance failure used to reach 15 — 16 per cent. To avoid being shot down by the air defense systems the bomber pilots used to throw bombs at a possible low height and the shortage of time to fall impeded the arming mechanism operation. After the end of the World War II a lot of demining works were carried out for many years (in Kaliningrad region — until 1972), thousands of mine clearance specialists and hundreds of equipment units were involved into ordnance gathering in the fields and towns. But the underfunding on equipment capacity development (mostly mine probes were used) and undeveloped logistic supply with explosives to destruct the collected ammunition (during 17 years of demining work experience we found tens of weapons caches with 10-20 unexploded munitions of different types in one pit) resulted into the situation that even 70 years after the last war end demining problem is a severe issue. Unexploded munitions that deepened into the ground (artillery shells – up to 2-3 meters depending on caliber and soil type, air bombs – up to 12 meters depending on the weight) being affected by physical processes are pushed out as higher density objects at speed of 2 - 7 cm a year. The ordinary civilians do not believe these munitions will ever blow off but the science and experience prove otherwise. We would not like to talk here about fundamental academic studies on «explosives growth», picrate formation as a result of continuous contact of high explosive agents with munition casing material etc. We can give some examples from our experience. In 2007-2009 our company was involved into mine clearance of approach channel to the island of Kotlin in the Baltic sea Gulf of Finland. Out of 660 munitions lifted from the bottom there were 8 cannon balls of the Peter the Great age. When being destructed they detonated not worse than the modern ones.
The RF Ministry of Defence territories of military bases, depots and arsenals being exposed to the explosions and fire accidents pose even bigger danger. In the nineties and noughties when the underbudget of the Ministry of Defence did not enable to provide safety of the military depots many of them all over the country due to external and internal reasons experienced explosions and fire accidents. The clearance of burnt and exploded depots by conscript soldiers left a great deal to be desired. In the surrounding area the criminal ammo trafficking increased, the locals tried to disassemble the scattered munitions to sell the metal scrap. That caused a number of fatalities and injuries. Since 2011 when the Ministry of Defence has started financing mine clearance of such territories performed by professional entities that use modern methods, search devices, equipment and technologies and meet the international quality standards of mine clearance. For more information about works performed by our company on these territories, please see «UXO clearance of land and water areas».