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Colombia is set to support Ukrainian troops in removing landmines from various locations in Ukraine.

The move comes as Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia resulted in the war zones being heavily mined, threatening the safety of civilians in the region.  

According to a Reuters report, a group of Colombian personnel will travel to a Nato member country in Europe to provide de-mining training to Ukrainian soldiers.

Colombian defence minister Diego Molano was quoted by the news agency as saying in a statement: “This training will be given by 11 military engineers who will go to a Nato member country which is a neighbour of Ukraine.”

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Colombia itself is one of the most-mined countries in the world, a legacy of several years of internal strife. Since 1990, landmines have killed 2,342 people in Colombia and injured nearly 10,000, Reuters added, citing government data.

In a separate development, New Zealand announced additional support to help Ukraine defend against the ongoing Russian offensive.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) artillery training team of up to 30 personnel will be deployed to the UK to help train Ukrainian military personnel in operating L119 105mm light field guns.

“Our training team has been requested to help train members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the use of the weapon system until the end of July.”

The government re-emphasised that NZDF personnel will not enter Ukraine to participate in the conflict directly.

New Zealand will also deliver 40 gun sights to Ukraine, as well as a small quantity of ammunition to support training.

New Zealand previously sent NZDF personnel to the UK and Belgium to support partner nations in intelligence and engagement work.

It has also deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft to support the delivery of military and other aid, as well as supplied non-lethal equipment to Ukraine.