Crossing prohibited! How border guards independently produce barbed wire for Ukrainian borders
Ukrainian border guards have launched their barbed wire production. Concertina razor wire, which is already being produced near Cherkasy, will later be used for a more reliable organization of the Ukrainian border. And a few million of the state budget, saved through the production, will go to other needs.
Rubryka talked to the border guards and the business that supported them, learned why the military decided to take matters into their own hands, and why it's a victory that will significantly reduce the number of potential "treasons."
What is the problem?
Border protection: plans appear, money disappears
The border is not just about the physical borders of the country. It is also about security, smuggling, and so-called "illegals." With the beginning of the Russian aggression, the Ukrainian government launched the "Wall" project, arranging the border in a way that neither military equipment nor any unwanted guests could pass through it without hindrance.
The plan was approved, the money was allocated and work began. According to the first version of the plan, they were to finish in 2018. But there is still no wall in 2021.
The press secretary of the Border Guard Service of Ukraine Andrii Demchenko explains: every year there was underfunding, and the calculations of the real value of the "Wall" have long been incorrect.
"Every year the project was under-funded. Because of this, the plan had to be extended and in the current version, it ends this year, but it will have to be renewed. By the end of last year, a total of 2.1 billion had been allocated, with a total estimated value of 4 billion. In addition, no one has yet taken into account the rise in prices for raw materials and the cost of work," Andrii Demchenko explains.
Border guards will not be able to solve all the problems on their own, but they have found a solution that will help to save money significantly.
What is the solution?
Save three times on one of the components of the wall
The wall on the Ukrainian border with other countries is not a mixture of cement and brick. It has somewhat more reliable components for the previously mentioned purposes. The wall at the border is…
- anti-tank ditches and trenches;
- control and trace strips;
- belt roads;
- non-explosive engineering barriers (barbed wire called concertina razor wire);
- fortification strongholds and positions.
It was on the next-to-last point, concertina razor wire, that the border guards decided to save by choosing their product instead of purchasing.
"If we talk about needs, it is about 300 thousand flakes of barbed wire across the border. One flake, if purchased, costs about 6.5 thousand hryvnias. If it is made using special lines, the cost, including raw materials and wages, is about 2.5 thousand hryvnias," said a spokesperson for the Border Guard Service of Ukraine.
Andrii Demchenko says that to start their production, they decided not to go to the state, but business. And the decision was successful.
How does it work?
We buy equipment, set up production, protect the border!
Border guards turned to the Ukrainian company BGV Group Management for support. The company is actively involved in various social initiatives and promotes the views of socially responsible businesses. BGV Communications Director Oleh Zontov says that when they received appeals from border guards, there were no hesitations.
"There are times when everyone unites! And the desire to help the country in a situation where it resists the aggressors unites both ordinary Ukrainians and big business… We see that our company's assistance to border guards has brought practical results and benefits. We are happy we were able to join this cause," Oleh Zontov comments.
So, BGV Group Management purchased special lines for the production of barbed wire and handed them over to border guards. And at the end of October, the guards set up a shop for the production of concertina razor wire and already have the first flakes, which will equip the border.
Production will be carried out only for the needs of the State Border Guard Service. They plan to make barbed wire for the entire border of the country and then make new batches needed to replace the damaged areas.
And did they succeed?
At least the start looks successful
The Border Guard Service works with very different areas: plains, mountains, forests, rivers, etc. Arrangement of the border with barbed wire is suitable for all of them. Need proofs?
- since 2015, no cases of human or animal injuries have been recorded;
- this type of barrier is actively used by commercial enterprises to protect their warehouses and production facilities from intruders;
- The European Union also uses concertina razor wire to build its external borders.
Also, given that the cost of production is three times cheaper than the price offered by private producers, the savings are considerable. If the Wall project is hampered in part by underfunding, such production may finally accelerate its pace.
More useful solutions
What other solutions, together with those envisaged by the Wall project, can be made to strengthen the protection of state borders? The approximate list looks like this:
- installing cameras in the easiest areas to cross;
- increasing the number of border patrols and search operations;
- building ditches and trenches to protect against the passage of military equipment;
- equipping the border with barbed wire;
- increasing the number of bases for the military.