25 years after Berlin Wall: Ukraine building barrier on Russian border ‘unacceptable’

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk (R) listens to explanations as he inspects the "Wall" project, which should reinforce the border with Russia, near Hoptivka border checkpoint in Kharkiv region, October 15, 2014. (Reuters/Andrew Kravchenko)

The notorious "Wall" project is in full swing in Ukraine, with border guards burning the midnight oil digging anti-tank ditches and other fortifications along the Russian border.

"We have to date equipped 135.54 kilometers of antitank ditches and 86.42 kilometers of artificial barriers," Ukraine border guard chief Viktor Nazarenko told a press conference in Kiev on Friday.

The secretary general said earlier this week that construction of the wall along the border of Ukraine and Russia is ‘unacceptable.’

He added that the position of the Council of Europe is that the territorial integrity of Ukraine "must be upheld."

"It’s 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down, it’s not a good time to start building new walls in Europe again, and we should absolutely avoid it," Thorbjørn Jagland said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenuk announced plans to build a 2,295-kilometer long “real border” with Russia in September, TASS reported. The ground section of the border is set to feature a ditch at least four meters wide and two meters deep, equipped with optic electronic surveillance systems, towers and other structures. The cost of the project, according to Yatsenyuk, has been estimated at €66 million.

Ukrainian border guards seem to be working hard to build the wall as soon as possible.

By mid-October, a 62-kilometer long anti-tank ditch was dug along the border with Russia, as well as some 50 kilometers of fences. 750 km of control and light bars were developed, as were trenches, bunkers and checkpoints.

In November, Ukraine built another 70-kilometer stretch.



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