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Ukraine builds a ‘European bulwark’ to separate itself from aggressive Russia

Article by: Volodymyr Noskov
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Ukraine needs to set up the border with Russia with defensive engineering structures to be granted a visa-free regime with the European Union, stated Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk during his examination of the ‘Wall’ project, whose samples have already been set up near the checkpoint ‘Hoptivka’ in Kharkiv oblast. According to the Prime Minister, the government is announcing a tender to involve Ukrainian companies which will take up the production and construction of reinforcements at the border with the eastern neighbor. 

“Those who don’t like ‘the Wall project’ can call it ‘the European bulwark’,” Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk told those who are skeptical about the construction of new engineering structures at the Ukraine-Russia border.

Border servicemen, while showing the project options for the ‘wall,’ immediately warned: it is not a concrete or a glass wall. It is presumed that a multilevel defensive network will be built at the eastern border.

“There is an anti-tank trench three meters wide and two meters deep. Then a Brustwehr up to three meters wide and two meters high. After which there is a footprint strip three meters wide. Then a road for the border servicemen to carry out control measures and where it is necessary to set up a fence with sensors and CCTV,” said deputy head of the eastern regional border headquarters, head of the engineering department, colonel Serhiy Moskalenko when presenting the option by the Kharkiv border workers.

Essentially, the border workers consider the metal dense to be the wall. It is going to be established in strategically important places at the state border and where it is impossible to dig anti-tank trenches.

On October 15, Arseniy Yatseniuk inspected the completion of the ‘Wall’ project and posted the following photos on his Facebook page:

Moskalenko: “The ‘Wall’ will help win time for the arrival of the Armed Forces”

The developer of the project of the fence, head engineer at the Frunze factory Ihor Duzenko has three options for the metal fence, all of which are 2,5 meters tall.

“We made three options for the fence to show the stronger one, the weaker one, and a simple option of two-millimeter wires,” Ihor Duzenko showed his development.

When answering to the accusations on part of some politicians regarding the inefficacy of the ‘Wall’ at the border, saying it is a waste of money, border servicemen say that such a wall is necessary as a signaling object in case the enemy crosses the border, and to win time for the arrival of the Armed Forces.

“Of course, the ‘Wall’ cannot withstand GRAD’s. And those modern tanks allow to fill in this anti-tank trench within 20 minutes or set up a pontoon to traverse it. But this time will allow us to involve additional forces and means, which will destroy the enemy. We will win time,” noted colonel Serhiy Moskalenko in a commentary to Radio Liberty.

After familiarizing him with the characteristics of the defensive engineering structures, the border servicemen jokingly asked the Prime Minister to test the wire which the fence is made of. Arseniy Yatseniuk was unable to cut the metal even with a special tool. “If I spend half an hour here, I will cut it,” Arseniy Yatseniuk laughs. “And in this time you will get spotted and the troops will come. It is not a fence built to stop but to control,” said first deputy head of the state border service of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Viktor Nazarenko, in response to the joke on part of the head of the government.

Yatseniuk: we practically had no border with Russia in the 20 years of Ukraine’s independence

The ‘Wall’ or the ‘European Bulwark,’ according to the government’s plans, should appear along the entire Ukraine-Russia border in three years. Ukraine gaining a vise-free regime with the EU depends on the execution of this project.

“De facto we, throughout the 20 years of Ukraine’s independence, had no border with the Russian Federation. If there is no border, nobody will give us a visa-free regime with the European Union, the issue of Ukraine’s membership in the NATO cannot be solved either. If there is no border, there is no first level of the defense line,” stated Yatseniuk.

The Prime Minister emphasizes that the execution of the project has a number of important goals, such as putting an end to illegal migration and sabotage groups, putting an end to contraband and the prevention of the relocation of weaponry and radioactive materials.

500 million UAH are needed to finance the construction. The majority of the investments are EU international programs, at the moment 235 million UAH have come from the European Union. According to Arseniy Yatseniuk, there will be a transparent tender for Ukrainian companies who are willing to work on the reinforcement of state borders which will ensure defense from the Russian aggressor.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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