His name is Oleksandr Kryvtsov and he has had to find a way to carry on farming in the middle of the war in Ukraine. To do so, he has used his imagination and modified his tractor into a mine-clearing vehicle.
After a Ukrainian counteroffensive last year drove Russian forces out of parts of eastern Ukraine, many fields were left with mines under their surface as a result. This made it dangerous to start preparing the land for planting for the next harvest.
The fields in the village of Hrakove were no exception. That is why Kryvtsov, general manager of his agricultural company, decided to act on his own and not to wait for the help of official deminers.
Mine-clearing and blast-resistant tractor
As reported by Reuters, this farmer has armoured one of his tractors to withstand explosions. He did this with protective panels taken from damaged Russian tanks. He also bought a system that allowed him to operate it by remote control from the blade of a bulldozer, suspended in the air.
“We started doing this because it was time for seeding and we couldn’t do anything because the rescue services are very busy,” Kryvtsov told Reuters.
“We hit an anti-tank mine. The protection was blown away, but the tractor is safe. Everyone is alive and safe. The equipment was restored and repaired.”
Official services are overwhelmed
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported that the Russians had mined approximately 30% of Ukrainian territory. The government is therefore working to clear agricultural land as quickly as possible.
The head of the demining unit, Serhii Dudak, warned that “we don’t have time to clear the fields. The amount of work is enormous. “It would take years to clear this particular field by hand and ensure that there are no mines here,” he concluded.