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Ukrainian border guards use firearms to stop men fleeing country

Nine people have been detained in just one region in a single day, the authorities have said

Ukrainian border guards have resorted to using their weapons to stop people from fleeing the country, the State Border Service said on Saturday. A patrol in Ukraine’s western Transcarpathia Region had to fire several warning shots while chasing a group attempting to illegally cross into Hungary, the statement posted on Facebook said.

The border guards detained a total of nine people fleeing Ukraine through Transcarpathia in just one day, the service said. The first group, including three Kiev residents, tried to cross the border at night using online maps. They stumbled upon a patrol several hundred meters from the frontier, the social media post said.

The first group was soon followed by another one consisting of four Transcarpathia residents. The men had contacted traffickers and paid $5,500 each for safe passage across the border, authorities said. They ended up being chased by border guards, according to the statement, which said that shots were fired.

Two more men tried to cross into Hungary elsewhere on the same night but were intercepted as well. Those detained, who turned out to be from the northern Chernigov Region, had paid $7,000 to traffickers to get into Hungary, according to the authorities.

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Dozens of Ukrainians drowning while fleeing country – officials (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Ukraine is continuing its efforts to mobilize more troops in order to replenish heavy losses sustained in the fighting with Russia. Announced shortly after the start of the conflict, the campaign has been marred by widespread draft dodging and graft, as well as attempts to flee the country. This spring, Kiev significantly expanded conscription rules and lowered the age limit from 27 to 25.

In early June, the Ukrainian Border Service said that at least 45 Ukrainian men had died in attempts to flee to the EU. Most men between the ages of 18 and 60 are barred from exiting Ukraine in case they are called up to serve. Kiev also barred dual citizens from leaving this month.

In May alone, ten people were confirmed to have drowned in the Tisza River, which flows from Ukraine’s southwestern border through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia, according to the authorities. The Border Service’s western regional branch said in early June that bodies had recently been found in rivers and mountainous terrain in areas bordering the EU.

Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov said on Friday that Ukraine lost more than 35,000 troops in May alone. Earlier in the month, Moscow estimated Kiev’s losses since the start of 2024 at over 111,000.

June 16, 2024 at 12:44AM

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