The war in Ukraine has left Russia dealing with weapons and smugglers making their way into the country from outside the conflict zone. The Russian solution: Dig ditches to slow the influx, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
Russia is digging ditches to slow munitions and intruders moving into the country across its western border. Russia -- accused by the United States of backing the pro-Russia separatists battling the Ukrainian government -- has dug about 60 miles of trenches so far, the Border Guard Service told Bloomberg. “It was done to create obstacles against intruders and the illicit entry of arms,” Andrei Timofeev, a spokesman for the Border Guard service, said to Bloomberg on Tuesday.
The trenches, dug in the Rostov region that borders the separatist-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, are reportedly about 13 feet wide and about 6.5 feet deep. There have been about 60 foiled arms smuggling attempts this year, causing the detention of more than 130 people and the confiscation of about 30 land mines, 40 firearms, 100 artillery shells and 200 grenades, Russian government paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported, via Bloomberg.
Anton Lavrov, an independent military analyst, told the news service that smuggled weapons could perhaps wind up in the hands of terrorists and criminal groups and that the separatist regions in Ukraine have become a territory for "uncontrolled weapons circulation." With the battling in the regions slowed, weapons have apparently begun to move to the black market. Many of the weapons confiscated, however, were set to be sold as war memorabilia to Russian buyers, Timofeev said.
Russia has denied that it is involved in the fighting between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia separatists that has killed more than 6,000. Russia has also had to deal with trying to bring its own citizens back across the border into the country. Two Russian citizens -- Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov -- are being held by the Ukrainian government after they were captured in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Russia has denied the two are members of the Russian military. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has stated that the two men reportedly confessed to being in the Russian army.