Ukraine’s Bomb Squads Have a New Top Dog


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(Foreign Policy) The U.S. Army has agreed to provide one of its two robotic dogs to help an American nonprofit clean up mines and other ordnance in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the decision, as the war-torn nation faces a World War II-level cleanup from unexploded Russian munitions.

HALO Trust, a demining enterprise with multiple U.S. government contracts to work in Ukraine, will use “Spot,” a Boston Dynamics-made robot dog, to remove mortar shells and cluster munitions in formerly Russian-controlled areas near the capital of Kyiv, said Chris Whatley, the group’s executive director.

In a test session last year, Spot worked well with small, volatile rounds, similar to those that have been seen throughout Ukraine. Whatley is hoping that will translate into dealing with cluster munitions that Russia has used indiscriminately in Ukraine, leaving behind bomblets that scatter all across the country.

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Published: Thursday, June 23, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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