REPORTING. "At any time it can get hot here" : far from the front, these Ukrainian soldiers neutralize Russian incursions on the border

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din


This is the other war, which is being fought in eastern Ukraine, but kilometers from the front line: surveillance of the border with Russia. On each side, soldiers hide and confront each other at a distance in a huge gray zone, where tempers can flare up at any moment.

At the end of a winding path, in a swampy area, a small group of soldiers hidden in a grove is preparing their weapons for the next operation. It is an anti-tank gun, an SPG-9, which fires shells against armored vehicles. Against men, too. “One of our objectives is to fight against enemy incursions, explains Yaroslav. With the border guards, we anticipate the paths they will take. And then, thanks to aerial intelligence drones, we assess the concentration of Russian troops on the other side.”

Are there frequent incursions? “Permanently !”, they respond in unison. And the cannon killed just the day before.

The weapon, Soviet, is the same age as them: 55 years old. But it remains effective, if it is in good hands, assures Volodymyr.

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