Since Sept 2014, Russia’s had total control over 409 km of Ukraine’s eastern border. This border control includes 12 official Ukrainian crossings, several previously blocked crossings and two rail lines. To give a snapshot sense of the large volumes of traffic which enters Ukraine every day, via Russia, here’s 4 of the busier crossings.
Remember, Ukraine has absolutely no say over what enters the country via these crossings. With each controlled by Russian led forces, some still bear the 2014 scars of Russia’s attacks made upon them. All Google Earth satellite images from 2016.
Maksimov: On Ukraine’s Sea of Azov, southern border, in the Donetsk Oblast (province). A busy crossing and one which is vital for Russian military forces entering Ukraine. From here, the Russian army hoped to capture the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and then push on to Crimea. Fortunately, in 2014/15, Ukrainian forces stopped the advance and positioned just outside Mariupol, the front line has remained unchanged for 2 years. The Russian crossing is on the right, where you can see a line of vehicles.
Vyselky: In Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast. With both a road and rail crossing leading to Donetsk city, this is a very busy crossing. As the image shows, large volumes of trucks use the crossing every day, with satellite images always showing long lines of vehicles entering and exiting Ukraine.
Marynivka: In Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast. In a remote location, this is one of Russia’s most important Ukrainian crossings. With the Luhansk Oblast close by, Russian military can enter here and deploy in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions. August 2014, Russia built a massive military supply depot at Russkoye. Just 15 km from Marynivka crossing, supply columns from the depot, also use Marynivka to enter Ukraine.
In 2014, the crossing and Ukrainian military defences dug around it, were mercilessly shelled, resulting in the devastation of the border crossing. Since its capture, Russia has repaired the roof and some of the buildings. Ukrainian trenches can still be seen in the bottom right corner.
Voznesenivka: In Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast, this is both a land crossing and the second of the Russian controlled rail crossings. This is another one which came under heavy shelling by Russian forces. Damage caused to the buildings opposite the crossing is still clearly visible.