Ukraine has no control of almost 300 km of its border with Russia
Ukraine has lost control of almost 300 kilometers of its state border with Russia in Luhansk and Donestk regions, a state border guard official has told journalists.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine has no control over 298.5 kilometers of the state border with the Russian Federation, the deputy chief of the Eastern Regional Directorate of State Frontier Service, Serhiy Moskalenko, told an UNIAN correspondent.
"One hundred and seventy-eight point five kilometers of the border of Donetsk region with Russia, and 120 kilometers of the state border with Russia in Luhansk region are under the control of the separatists," Moskalenko said.
Ukraine has accused Russia of allowing militants, arms and ammunition - as well as regular Russian troops - to cross the border into Ukraine freely, fueling the insurgency in the east of the country. Russian regular troops are thought to have entered Ukraine en masse in the last week of August, as Kyiv seemed to be on the verge of crushing the insurgency.
Within days of the suspected Russian military incursion, the Ukrainian army suffered serious battlefield defeats, and Kyiv negotiated a ceasefire on September 5. The militants have since regained much of the ground they had lost in July and August, and are continuing to attack Ukrainian army positions in the east of the country, in breach of the ceasefire agreement.
For its part, the Ukrainian government says its armed forces have been ordered not to attack militant positions, but to return fire if their own positions are fired on.