The Ukrainian military is in control of the complete northeast region of Sumy near the border with Russia, its governor stated on Friday, alerting residents against coming back while it was being cleared of mines.
“The area is completely free of orcs,” Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky stated on social media, directing to invading Russian troops.
“The region is not safe. There are many areas that have been excavated & are still not cleared,” he said.
Russian forces have recently taken off from territory in the north and around the capital Kyiv after revealing a push to capture the eastern Donetsk as well as Lugansk regions south of Sumy.
The eastern regions have been partially under control of pro-Russia separatists since 2014, when nationwide street protests led to the ouster of a Kremlin-friendly president and sparked a conflict between Kyiv’s army and the rebels.
Zhyvytsky has said earlier that Russian troops were withdrawing from the area after Moscow’s announcement to shift its military aims to the Donbas.
Even after the announcement that Ukrainian forces were in control of Sumy, he stated that the proliferation of unexploded ordnance meant the area was still not safe for residents.
He further added, “If you listen to explosions, and there have been many in recent days, are emergency workers and technicians who are specialised in explosives. They are defusing the ammunition left by the Russian military on our land.”
“Do not drive on the sides of the roads and do not use forest roads. Do not approach destroyed types of equipment or orc sites! It is not time to clean up yet, first demining.”