KHARKIV, UKRAINE — It's been nicknamed the "Great Wall of Ukraine." Its planned combination of barbed-wire fences, watchtowers, berms, and tank traps along Ukraine's 1,300-mile border with Russia look like something you'd find on one of Israel's borders with its hostile neighbors.
If it's ever completed, the wall will seal a frontier that, until last year, had always been wide open. Inaugurating construction here last fall, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk indicated that much more than just a physical barrier was intended. "This will be the eastern border of Europe," he said.
But in nearby Kharkiv, an overwhelmingly Russian-speaking city of one-and-a-half million, mention of the wall is mostly greeted with snorts of irritation. The idea of splitting permanently and irrevocably from Russia wins virtually no acceptance. Many people here have family and friends in Russia, the local economy is heavily dependent on trade with Russia, and some say they just can't wrap their heads around the idea of a frontier being there in the first place.
"The Russian city of Belgorod is an hour's drive away; until recently there were almost no border formalities. It's a scene of my childhood; I love that place," says Yury Smirnov, a taxi driver. "Now the border inspections take hours, and it's humiliating. Belgorod might as well be on the moon."
Complete story at - Walled off: In non-rebel eastern Ukraine, frustrations with Kiev mount - CSMonitor.com
Recommended Reading via Amazon
If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.
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1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi
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