In a bucolic atmosphere, hardly disturbed by the croaking of frogs, two boats sail on the surface, while a diver and an amphibious drone explore the aquatic depths.
Between Thursday and Friday, they have already found ten heavy projectiles, residues of the violent combats which opposed in march Russian and Ukrainian soldiers in this locality, then located on the front line.
Their charges did not explode, because the contact with water is “softer” than the ground, explains Serhii Reva, head of pyrotechnic units within the Ukrainian emergency services.
Specialists therefore raise them carefully, before depositing them in the back of a truck which takes them about twenty kilometers away, to detonate them far from any dwelling.
Minesweepers play for time. “The mud is advancing and in a month and a half, two months, we will not see anything,” video operator Viktor Pohorilyi told AFP, showing on his screen a rocket found 6.5 meters deep. .
Time also matters because temperatures are rising. “Summer is approaching and our citizens will come and take a dip, even if we warn them of the risk”, adds Serhii Reva.
– Fish net –
Banks of the Dnieper River, lakes and rivers: the kyiv region has many water points equipped for swimming, which are very popular on sunny days. In Horenka, small sandbanks and expanses of grass serve as beaches, wooden huts can accommodate picnics.
For the moment, no one has yet unfolded their towel at the edge of the water. But life is returning to some semblance of normality in the Ukrainian capital since the withdrawal of Russian troops to southern and eastern Ukraine on April 1, and Mr. Reva is convinced that bathers will soon be there.
Another public at risk: fishermen. “Angling is not a problem, but if someone casts a net, they may pick up dangerous objects,” he points out.
His teams, which have only two amphibious drones, will not be able to control all the water points, he admits. Priorities are therefore established with the authorities, depending on the intensity of the fighting in their vicinity and the frequentation of the places.
Horenka, where the carcasses of charred buildings scar the landscape, soon found itself at the top of the list. By Sunday, the demining of its “Blue Lake” should be completed and its inhabitants will be able to come and drown their suffering there.