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New Battle Looms On Ukraine's Blockade Lines

In Ukraine’s fractured east, nationalists and other activists behind an ongoing blockade of trade with Russia-backed separatists say they are preparing to defy Kyiv once more. RFE/RL visited the blockaders after they announced plans for a new round of "actions" targeting those they say are profiteering from the conflict.
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The blockaders' camp at Bakhmut, a town around 30 kilometers from the front lines of the Ukrainian conflict. The blockade began here early this year when activists stepped out in front of a train hauling coal from separatist-held territory to the rest of Ukraine.
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The blockaders' camp at Bakhmut, a town around 30 kilometers from the front lines of the Ukrainian conflict. The blockade began here early this year when activists stepped out in front of a train hauling coal from separatist-held territory to the rest of Ukraine.

The checkpoint alongside the railway lines in Bakhmut. Ukrainian authorities initially opposed the blockade of trains arriving from separatist-held territory, citing an urgent need for high-grade coal for Ukraine's electrical plants. But in March, Kyiv unexpectedly sided with the activists and officially suspended trade with Russia-backed separatists.
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The checkpoint alongside the railway lines in Bakhmut. Ukrainian authorities initially opposed the blockade of trains arriving from separatist-held territory, citing an urgent need for high-grade coal for Ukraine's electrical plants. But in March, Kyiv unexpectedly sided with the activists and officially suspended trade with Russia-backed separatists.

Guards at the entrance to the camp. After apparently forcing Kyiv’s hand in March, the activists now appear emboldened to demand more from a government they see as ineffectual. On May 26, the activists announced plans to begin a new stage of activity "within two weeks," targeting Russian-linked businesses in Ukraine.  
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Guards at the entrance to the camp. After apparently forcing Kyiv’s hand in March, the activists now appear emboldened to demand more from a government they see as ineffectual. On May 26, the activists announced plans to begin a new stage of activity "within two weeks," targeting Russian-linked businesses in Ukraine.


 

Puppies squeal and fight as night falls over the camp. A blockade leader told RFE/RL the activists want the more than 100 Ukrainians currently held prisoner in the separatist regions released before June 11 or their unspecified "action" will commence.
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Puppies squeal and fight as night falls over the camp. A blockade leader told RFE/RL the activists want the more than 100 Ukrainians currently held prisoner in the separatist regions released before June 11 or their unspecified "action" will commence.

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