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Ukraine steps up border controls along Crimea

Sailors fly the flag of Ukraine aboard the Ukrainian naval command ship 'Slavu.'
Sailors fly the flag of Ukraine aboard the Ukrainian naval command ship 'Slavu.'
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Tightened border security by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (DPSU) was announced Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in a series of news bulletins. The increased scrutiny is an attempt to 'to prevent movement of extremist-minded people, weapons and other prohibited items' arriving from Crimea, the agency stated. Additionally, European Union (EU) passengers will now pass through airport border checkpoints, and the Ukraine Marine Guard have been reassigned from the coast of Crimea.

Ukrainian border guards are scrutinizing every border crosser arriving from Crimea. The border inspections include searching vehicles and reviewing travel documents, according to the DPSU. The article also confirmed that 'vehicles movement into Crimea by Russian from the Russian occupying forces was resumed.'

At the airports in Ukraine, arriving citizens of the EU and Ukraine alike will be subject to border checkpoints. The introduction of passport control operations is a result of signing the Association Agreement with the European Union.

Marine Guard units assigned to Crimea have been re-positioned to protect Ukraine's coast along the Black Sea. Members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have faced 'menacing and blackmail' since Russian occupation, yet they have continued to do their job. Recently reassigned from Crimea, the Marine Unit continues to do their job protecting the coasts of Ukraine.