Rescue Board in talks for sending bomb disposal squad to Ukraine

Bomb disposal operative (photo is illustrative).
Bomb disposal operative (photo is illustrative). Source: Rescue Board

The Rescue Board is in talks to send a squad of bomb disposal specialists to Ukraine. The humanitarian missions would see the unarmed deminers accompanied by a Ukrainian escort.

Rescue Board explosives specialists also helped out in Georgia in 2008. Back then, Estonia was the first country to dispatch a bomb squad to Georgia. The Ukraine mission should be done in a month or sooner, said Arno Pugonen, adviser at the board's bomb disposal unit.

The demining center will partner with the Ukrainian State Emergency Service.

"The situation is many times worse compared to Georgia. Because the range from battle munitions to anything that can explode is many times worse. And these devices are also a lot more modern. We recently lost three colleagues from the State Emergency Service in a cluster munition explosion. It will be difficult. Everything that Russia has it has used [in Ukraine]," Pugonen said.

In addition to helping Ukraine, Rescue Board bomb experts will get valuable experience they currently lack.

"It is a cold hard fact that bomb disposal and medicine develop in battles, conflict. We need to be creative and use innovative solutions," Pugonen said.

The Rescue Board's bomb disposal team started foreign missions in Afghanistan in 2002, has worked in Georgia and joined the Swedes in Africa on four occasions. The team was in Eastern Ukraine as observers in 2015.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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