Friday, August 22, 2014

Rebels Falter, but Russian Border Buzzes With Military Activity

ANDREW ROTH, NYT, AUG. 21, 2014

DONETSK, Russia — They arrive every day, carloads of young men and women in camouflage who pass through this Russian border checkpoint before heading for the battlefields of eastern Ukraine.

Although patches sewn into their uniforms identify them as separatists, their passports are routinely stamped by Russian officials. After passing by a monitoring station from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and a Ukrainian border post now operated by the separatists, they disappear into Ukraine’s civil war.

The rebel war effort may be flagging, but the Russian border in the region still controlled by the separatists remains a hive of military activity.

Almost nightly, convoys of tanks and other military vehicles can be seen on local roads, lumbering west toward Ukraine after dark, turning off dirt roads within miles of the border, apparently following routes previously favored by smugglers sneaking cheap gasoline into Ukraine.

(More here.)

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