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Ukraine sets up Transcarpathia border posts to fight smuggling after armed incident

July 22, 2015, 12:22 UTC+3 KIEV
The measures are to prevent smuggling cigarettes, spirits and round timber to the European Union
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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

KIEV, July 22. /TASS/. Ukraine’s law-enforcers have set up posts along the border of the Transcarpathian region with the European Union to intensify the fight against border smuggling after a recent armed incident with the ultranationalist Right Sector movement, the regional governor said on Wednesday.

"Posts have been set up across the green border along Transcarpathia at all the four passes to prevent the delivery of large wholesale batches of cigarettes (including cigarettes without excise duties) and illegal alcoholic beverages into Transcarpathia and the exportation of round timber from Transcarpathia," Governor Gennady Moskal said on his official website.

Border posts have been set up by the Ukrainian customs bodies, the Border Guard Service, the Interior Ministry, the Security Service of Ukraine and the country’s fiscal authorities, the governor said.

These measures were taken after a recent incident in the town of Mukachevo in Transcarpathia when militants from the Right Sector radical organization started armed clashes with their opponents in the fight for the spheres of influence, including cigarette smuggling.

The Ukrainian law enforcers are also making searches at illegal wholesale warehouses in Transcarpathia where cigarette batches were bought for smuggling, the regional governor said.

"However, it can already be said that the Lviv Tobacco Factory was the main supplier of cigarettes that were subsequently smuggled abroad. Some of the cigarettes that were seized were Belarusian, which points to the fact that there are ‘windows’ for smugglers in the Chernihiv Region on the border with Belarus," Moskal said.

Mukachevo shootout

About 20 militants of the Right Sector militant organization opened fire from small arms against their opponents, with whom they were distributing spheres of influence, in Mukachevo on July 11.

The extremists used submachine guns, large-caliber machine guns and grenade launchers to put up resistance to policemen who had arrived at the scene. They destroyed several police cars and set a traffic police post and a petrol station on fire.

According to prosecutors of Ukraine’s Transcarpathian region, 4 people were killed and another 10 were wounded in the Mukachevo shooting. The prosecutors have classified the incident as a terrorist attack.

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