Six years into the protracted crisis, explosive ordnance (EO) contamination continues to affect Ukrainian communities. Consequent to the conflict between the government of Ukraine and the so-called de facto authorities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, EO affects an estimated 7,000 square kilometers of land in government-controlled areas (GCAs). Even without complete data from the non-government-controlled areas (NGCAs), Ukraine ranks among the five most affected places in the world for EO casualties. But for EO victims the path forward remains fraught with difficulties. According to the International Mine Action Standards, victim assistance (VA) requires a long-term commitment, a responsibility that state institutions bear. The present article, encapsulating an assessment conducted in 2018 and 2019, highlights the crucial incapacities of the primary VA duty-bearers in Ukraine and puts forth the corresponding lessons learned. Taking into account various international policies and guidelines, the assessment of Ukraine’s VA looks at (1) gaps in the underpinning legal environment, (2) data collection, (3) emergency and continuing medical care, (4) rehabilitation, (5) psychological and psycho-social support, (6) and socioeconomic inclusion.



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