The flimsy, razor wire-topped fences popping up along bare expanses of Ukraine’s eastern frontier are the first line of defense against a much-feared Russian invasion….
Now doubts are creeping in.
With much of eastern Ukraine in the hands of … separatists, large swaths of the border remain impossible to secure — meaning enemy troops can just sneak in through areas under rebel control.
“We need to protect ourselves somehow,” said Sergei Kotlyar, 46. “But, of course, this won’t give us 100 percent guarantees, even if it holds back the enemy for a little time.”
Others believe investing in fences and trenches is a waste of money, noting that anti-tank defenses will be of limited use against the rocket launchers widely deployed over the course of the war.
“Who is it going to stop?” said 22-year old Kharkiv resident Anatasia Duda. “A country like Russia definitely has the means to deal with slabs of metal. And what’s the use of that wall when the border with Donetsk isn’t even under control?”
With the government forced to cut costs across the board as the economy struggles under the weight of war, the budget for the project has been reduced twofold.