Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Federal Security Service to tighten and secure the border with Ukraine only days after Russia blasted Ukraine for doing the exact same thing.
Putin did so in order to “prevent people crossing illegally” due to the Ukrainian refugees that allegedly number in the thousands. Russia recently claimed thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing to Russia, and the country’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said over 12,100 Ukrainians fled to the Rostov region in only 24 hours. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said 4,000 people requested asylum, but the State Duma said only 800 people applied. Ukraine denies a mass exodus, and its border services have not noticed an increase of people leaving Ukraine.
Yet, when Ukraine closed the border to Russia to prevent “terrorists and Russian arms” from flowing into an already very volatile environment, the Russian Foreign Ministry vilified interim President Oleksandr Turchynov.
“The reaction of Ukrainian border guards and especially the visit of Mr. Turchynov [acting Ukrainian President, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Aleksander Turchynov], who intends to virtually close borders between Russia and Ukraine, is outrageous. Instead of opening these borders for everyone willing to leave the area of military actions, these borders are closed. This is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
On May 25, the day of the presidential election, it was revealed Chechens from Russia were involved with the Vosotok Battalion in Donetsk. The men told Courtney Weaver at the Financial Times Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov sent them, but he denies the allegation. Five days later the Vosotok Battalion raided the headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic and forced everyone out. The new prime minister of the DPR is Alexander Borodai; he told The Telegraph he is a Russian citizen from Moscow.