Earlier this year, the Ukrainian authorities approved a major new program to isolate their country from Russia by constructing an enormous barrier, equipped with anti-tank ditches and remote-controlled weapons stations.
The plan includes a project that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk initially called "the Wall" and later renamed "European bulwark". Currently, it is referred to as "the Line of Dignity," and is estimated to be worth 4 billion hryvnias (about 200 million dollars). Ukraine's attempts to play with the wall's name are reminiscent of East Germany's name for the Berlin Wall, the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart".
The project stipulates that more than 2,000 kilometers of the country's actual border with Russia should be protected with anti-tank (anti-transport) trenches measuring four meters wide and two meters deep, as well as 17-meter tall metal watchtowers, observation posts, alarms, retaliatory weaponry and special border check-points.
Meanwhile, the construction process is in full swing; the wall's ditches are currently being laid along sections of the border, according to vesti-ukr.com.
Some fortifications are expected to be constructed on the territory of vegetable gardens owned by residents of border villages in north-eastern Ukraine's Sumskaya and Kharkov regions.
Needless to say, some locals are upset with all of this, and fear that they will not be able to make both ends meet after they are deprived of their vegetable gardens.
A resident of the village of Sopych was quoted as saying that some families are already bracing for the construction crews to arrive, when "their miserable two or three hundred square meters of land will be taken away."
"So where will they obtain food after this? The authorities pledged to compensate for the loss of land, but they declined to elaborate. We fear that they will not deliver on their promise," he said.
Lawyers said that under Ukrainian legislation, the authorities are obliged to compensate people for property seized through eminent domain or grant them new plots of land with similar characteristics.
Meanwhile, a source in Ukraine's State Service for Geodetic Surveying, Cartography and Cadaster has been quoted by vesti-ukr.org as saying that the issue of returning the land to its owners has yet to be put on the government's table.