Erecting a New Wall

Ukranian Wall

In the early 1960s, Russia decided to construct a wall across their section of East Berlin that was designed to keep the city’s inhabitants “within” its borders. Now, fifty years later, Ukraine has decided to build a similar barrier, this time around aimed at keeping Russia out.

According to Russia Today, “Kiev authorities have approved a major new program to isolate the country from Russia by constructing an enormous barrier, equipped with anti-tank ditches and remote controlled weapons stations. They intend to spend $200 million on the grand plan.

On April 14, the Ukrainian cabinet approved a plan for technical arrangements on the Russian-Ukrainian border for 2015-2018.

The plan includes a project initially called ‘The Wall’ or ‘European bulwark’. It’s estimated to be worth 4 billion hryvnias (about $US200 million) and involves the construction of a barbed-wire fence with 17-meter high steelwork turrets. There will also be four-meter wide, two-meter deep antitank ditches, a lateral route and a drag road, remote combat modules, fortified sectors, observation posts, CCTV cameras, communication towers and alarm systems.

The plan is to complete construction within three years, yet previous intentions to erect a barrier on the Russian border floundered due to Ukraine’s lack of cash.

Initially, the idea of digging a ditch on the Russian-Ukrainian border was voiced by the former governor of Dnepropetrovsk region, Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky. He even funded a military field engineering vehicle that created a ditch on the border with Russia.”

Barriers have been used with varying results over the course of the past hundred years. The most notable include France’s Maginot Line, Finland’s Mannerheim line, Germany’s West Wall, Israel’s West Bank Barrier, the US-Mexican Border-Enforcement Wall, and the South Korean defensive belt straddling the 38th Parallel. Considering the cost, length of its border with Russia, and much weaker military position with its neighbor to the east, its highly dubious if such a barrier could work in the 21st Century, particularly when Ukraine is already faced with mounting debt to certain international monetary agencies.

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