Combat experience: like sitting on a powder keg

The craftiness of these tatty-looking "crocks" or, conversely, elegant "jiggers", lies in their relatively small size, efficiency of destruction, stealth, surprise application, remote detonation possibility and a dozen of other "advantages."

At the peak of mine warfare
My archive includes a document "Battle report of engineering service of Internal Troops of the Russian Ministry for Internal Affairs of the Joint Group of Troops (Forces) in the North Caucasus region for March 22, 2003." I’m quoting:
"At 8:40, during block installation on the route Checkpoint No.14 – Mesker-Yurt, Shali district, a bomb was found (F-1 grenade on a tripwire). Destroyed ...
At 8:55, during block installation on the route Gudermes - Dzhalka, Gudermes district, a surprise landmine was found (camera rigged with explosives) ...
At 9:08, engineer reconnaissance patrol (IRD) ... during the engineering reconnaissance from Khankala to Prigorodny, Grozny (rural) district, a wire-guided landmine (152 mm shell) was found. It could be remotely controlled from 150 meters ...
At 9:45... during the engineering reconnaissance, on the route Chiri-Yurt – Checkpoint No.121, Urus-Martan district, IRD found a landmine (2 rounds of PG-7, 5 RGD-5 grenades) on the tripwire in the destroyed building...
At 9:50... during the engineering reconnaissance, on the route Urus-Martan – Alkhan-Yurt, UrusMartan district, IRD found a landmine 2.5 km from the road at a depth of 50 cm. The landmine was wire-guided (warhead of a "Grad" missile rigged with explosives). It could be remotely controlled from 100 meters... "
The archive also contains the mournful lists of combat irretrievable losses of the two bodies of the Internal Troops of the Russian Ministry for Internal Affairs. Before the start of the active phase of mine warfare in 2000, 22 of the 56 soldiers of the Krasnodar division of the Internal Troops were killed by mines and roadside bombs, and in 2001, at the peak of Chechen firers activation, 23 killed soldiers and officers of Novocherkassk Division of the Internal Troops out of 25 died as a result of mine explosion injuries.
By the way, the death of the head of the Chechen Republic Akhmad Kadyrov and several people standing next to him was also due to the explosion of a powerful landmine set on the Grozny stadium "Dynamo" on May 9, 2004. A group of my comrades – commandos of the 8th Special Operations Unit of the Internal Troops of Ministry for Internal Affairs – was also affected by a powerful explosive device attached to a truck, though it happened not in Chechnya, but in neighboring Dagestan in July 2005...

Field tricks

Among other things, mines (explosive devices – EDs) differ in purpose. There are not only antipersonnel and anti-tank explosive devices, but also marine and anti-helicopter ones; activated by mechanical action or a change of the electromagnetic field or radio-controlled EDs.
I will not be surprised if somebody is already working on the use of mines in outer space.
Also, mine creating business is very popular among a large number of artisans, members of the illegal armed groups. Products created by such craftsmen were named IEDs, the improvised explosive devices. Because of the design features and original methods of arming known only to their creators, IEDs often present the most danger.
However, our engineers include professionals of the highest class who can disarm any explosive devices and systems. One of them, Major General Nikolai Martynov (the bandits offered a reward of 100 thousand dollars for his head), recalled in an interview: "...Their task is to make us fear the possibility of mines on the routes, on the roads, in cities and towns. My task is to create the same fear for these freaks. I have a kind of duel with them by my own rules on their territory. I lay mines on their paths in the forest ... ammunition depots ... all fields where our dullish gunners bury the unspent or unexploded ordnance. Chechens always love to dig in the field of our old dislocation. I already know the signs: after we leave... this village will surely bury several lovers of digging out the unexploded mines ... I learned all their peasant habits and tricks... I like to leave the "forgotten" "Mukha" grenade launchers rigged with EDs – this scum loves them. I like undermining the landmines of their own: the main thing here is to find the down line ... If you do everything the smart way and use it, the freak kicks the bucket instead of us. "

A matter of several minutes

The archive also contains a video tutorial of the master class by Colonel Igor Semin, the commander of the "Rosich" unit – one of the oldest special-force units of the Internal Troops of MIA. For example, he disclosed an interesting method of terrain mining, called "envelope."
This requires about 15 minutes of time and only 5 mines of the MON-type, installed with a slight tilt, 15 degrees from the ground at the corners of the killing field with tripwires. One concealed mine is placed in the center of the field. The "MON" fragment dispersion against the horizon is 50–70 degrees. Height of the damage sector is from 15 cm to 4 m at the maximum lethal range of up to 50 meters.
In the heat of the chase the opponent may trigger just one tripwire and, according to the "domino effect", the other "toys" will detonate, riddling the enemy with a hail of steel balls and cylinders - up to 500 pieces each.
In general, the mining normally employs contact, radio-controlled mines, landmines, mines with anti-handling devices, magnetic mines and mines with plastic housing. Plastic-based explosive is widely used, as the service dogs do not react to its smell.
Mines are installed on roadsides and ramps, under the asphalt or concrete of the paved roads. And the puddles of the back roads are ideally suited for this.
In order to increase the yield of the explosion, landmines made of unexploded bombs and artillery shells are used.
In order to better engage manpower, combined mining is used: in conjunction with the anti-tank, an anti-personnel or directional mine is installed. The tactics of "bait explosions" is actively used, when the bandits "slightly" explode, for example, a police car, awaiting the arrival of field investigators and then make the second, more powerful explosion entailing the numerous deaths...
Our engineers, however, have developed an effective know-how, which includes a system of mining "Okhota". This, according to experts, is a subversive weapon, designed for 100% group target destruction. "Okhota" uses a combination of push-action landmines PMN-2, and fragmentation mines OZM-72 jumping to a height of about one meter. OZM-72 mines are used with electronic fuses MVE-72 responding to an open target sensor when a PMN-2 mine explodes.
It is complemented by the MVS seismic fuse, which allows approaching the mine as close as possible, but does not allow to retreat alive. In addition, the fuse is selective – it distinguishes human steps from animal steps, which is important for mountainous areas and woodland.

Lieutenant colonel Roman Ilyushchenko, retired, combat veteran