Report: Belarus+ 14-November-2003

We shot our second footage for the documentary film in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Belarus in November 2003. We used 37 hours of tape to film during two weeks of filming.

Footage collected includes:

- Unique, footage that we believe is the first ever-shot in the warehouses storing some of the millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines in Belarus;

- Destruction by explosion of these stockpiled mines at an army base near the Ukrainian border, some 60 kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear plant site;

- Interviews with senior government officials and soldiers defending Kyrgyzstan’s use of antipersonnel mines in 2000 along its border with Uzbekistan;

- An interview with an Uzbek journalist campaigning for his government to stop mine-laying, despite the danger of persecution by his repressive government;

- An interview with the deputy head of Tajikistan’s demining program during a conference in Kyrgyzstan. In the course of the 3-day meeting, five more civilians were blown up in Tajikistan, the most mine-affected republic of Central Asia;

- University students from Central Asia debating whether their government should ban antipersonnel mines, when major powers such as the U.S. have not;

- An interview on the importance of civil society-government relations with a senior diplomat from Belarus, a country with a poor track record of encouraging such activities;

- An interview with a Russian munitions manufacturer that has developed a unique technique to destroy the extremely dangerous PFM ‘butterfly’ mine;

- Campaigners from the former Soviet Union speaking at the first regional conference on landmines to be held in Central Asia;

- Interviews with Chechen displaced persons and a leading Russian prosthetic technician on the plight of Chechnya’s mine victims, especially children.