With Donetsk seeing intense combat recently, the Ukrainian military has reportedly employed rockets outfitted with scatterable anti-tank mines against Russian formations.
This announcement was made by the representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) office at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of Issues Related to War Crimes of Ukraine (JCCC) on May 19.
The JCCC clarified that the projectile was fired from the city of Krasnoarmeysk, controlled by Kyiv in the DPR in the Kuibyshevsky district of the city.
“A shelling attack by the Ukrainian military against Donetsk (the Kuibyshevsky district) was recorded. An MFOM AT2 rocket (studded with AT2 anti-tank mines) was fired,” the mission said on its Telegram channel.
In what has been believed to be the preparation for a massive counteroffensive, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have been relentlessly shelling the Russian positions in DPR, besides firing its long-range missiles, including at cities like Mariupol in the Donetsk region.
As soon as it was established that the AFU was using the AT2 anti-tank mines, the mayor of Donetsk, Alexey Kulemzin warned the locals on his Telegram channels about the dangers presented by these lethal anti-tank mines.
Asking the locals to steer clear of these mines, Kulemzin wrote on his Telegram channel that such mines contained a magnetic target sensor that responded to big metal items. He further added that the mine was equipped with an anti-handling device that would explode if it were attempted to be moved.
Germany, Great Britain, and Norway had used the AT2 scatterable anti-tank mine earlier. However, it was outlawed in 1997 due to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, and it was categorized as a cluster munition since 28 AT2 mines could fit in a single rocket for the Mars II rocket launcher, making it a cluster munition in official terms.
?? Russian officials in Donetsk, Apr. 24: ?? The Ukrainian army used Western multiple rocket systems for remote mine-laying the area.
? German-made AT-2 anti-tank mines were also found on the streets for the first time in the Donetsk urban area. pic.twitter.com/ClogZ9CRzp
— 鳳凰資訊 PhoenixTV News (@PhoenixTV_News) April 25, 2023
This led to speculations that the UK and Germany probably secretly delivered these AT2 anti-tank mines to Ukraine.
This is not the first time the Ukrainian military has used these dangerous anti-tank mines that pose a massive threat to civilians. In September last year, reports in local Ukrainian media suggested that the military employed these anti-tank mines were being used to hit Russian tanks in the Kherson region.
Ukraine fired GERMAN supplied AT-2 (DM1399) scatterable anti-tank mine on Kuybyshevsky district Donetsk at 29 Kremlevsky Ave. A .an born in 1946 had both legs blown off and has died. An elderly woman was also seriously wounded.
The AT2 mine is a scatterable anti-tank mine… pic.twitter.com/nvw77WIQNV
— Mats Nilsson (@mazzenilsson) March 29, 2023
Previously, in March and April, the Ukrainian military bombarded Donetsk with rockets loaded with German AT2 anti-tank mines. After the bombardment in March, two Donetsk civilians were injured when they stepped on an AT2 mine, and one died from injuries.
These anti-tank mines often don’t explode, presenting a risk to the lives of people who come in contact with them.
What Do We Know About These AT2 Mines?
The German AT2 is an anti-vehicle (AV), high-explosive (HE), scatterable, shaped-charge (SC) landmine that can be fired from artillery rockets or landmine laying systems. It comes in variants like the DM-1233 for German 110mm LARS, the DM-1274 for the Skorpion landmine laying system, and the DM-1399 for MLRS and MiWS Skorpion.
Although the Ukrainian military has not specified which variant of the anti-tank mine it was using, a photo of the ‘DM1399 variant’ of the AT2 scatterable anti-tank mine that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were employing in the Kherson region surfaced on social media in September 2022.
Local Ukrainian media reports speculated last year that the ‘DM1399 variant’ of the AT2 scatterable anti-tank mine was delivered to Kyiv to be deployed on the German MARS II Multiple Rocket Launch System (MLRS). However, EurAsian Times could not independently verify these claims.
A rocket can be used to release the AT-2 anti-tank mine. It weighs 2.22 kilograms and has a diameter of 103.5mm. The cylindrical landmine has a flat bottom and a hemispherical top. A thin aerial-like wire extends from the top of the landmine and is the S3 scratch wire contact fuze.
The landmine is supported upright by five or more metal legs that fold from the base (depending on the type or version).
When a landmine is released from a rocket, it is also equipped with a little plastic parachute to reduce the force with which it lands. The mine is triggered when the wire fuze stretches along the bottom of the vehicle or when it is compressed under pressure. The landmine also includes a magnetic-influence fuze.