The “Wall” project will be carried out in two stages and will include several layers of protection at the Ukrainian-Russian border, Pavlo Shysholin, first deputy chairman of the Border Control Service, explained during a presentation of the project to the Cabinet on Friday, September 5.
According to Shysholin, the project will begin with a few sections of the border outside the ATO area (out of a total 2,295 km sea and land border with Russia).
“During the first phase, the project will be implemented in areas outside of the fighting, where we can ensure the safety of the work. These are boundaries of the Chernihiv, Sumsk, and Kharkiv oblasts, as well as sections of the northern regions of the Luhansk Olbast, starting with Horodyshche up to the junction with the Kharkiv Oblast, he said. The second phase will be realized in other parts of the border after the end of the fighting, he added.
“The planned engineering-technical work will include dirt and concrete ditches( with a minimum 4 m width and 2 m depth), ring roads, towers, trace detection strips, and various optical-electronic surveillance and electronic-signaling systems … to prevent the movement of vehicles from the territory of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Shysholin explained that the maritime boundary in the area of Mariupol, Berdiansk and Henichesk will be secured as well, with optical-electronic surveillance systems and fortifications to protect against landings from the sea. He also recommended that the border between the annexed Crimean peninsula and the Ukrainian mainland be included in the project.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said that Kyiv expects to receive financing help from the EU for the second phase of the “Wall” project, since the “border with Russia is the eastern border of Europe.”
“In fact, it is the reinforcement of Europe’s eastern border. We realize that this is a very expensive project. This is why after confirming this project at the EU donor’s conference, we will address the request for the financial and technical assistance for its implementation,” Yatseniuk said. He added that the first phase of the project will be financed by Ukraine. The government has not yet announced the total cost for building the “Wall,” but said that both the materials and production will be Ukrainian.
According to Shysholin, the Ukrainian-Russian border has not even been demarcated yet. The most challenging area consists of 500 km of the border in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, he said. This part of the border was problematic even before the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where “criminal gangs attempted to establish the illicit traffic of goods, weapons and ammunition and drugs.”[hr]
Compiled and translated by Anna Mostovych