Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have left the future of the village of Vyselki uncertain, dividing loyalties and hindering transit across the border. (March 27)
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Vyselki, Ukraine - March 24, 2014
1. Mid of a Ukrainian soldier patrolling Ukrainian-Russian checkpoint, Russia in background
2. Wide of Ukrainian Nikolai Chernyshov at Russian-Ukrainian border crossing
3. Close of Russian and Ukrainian flags at the checkpoint
4. Mid of a sign in Ukrainian: "Attention! State border of Ukraine. No trespassing."
5. Mid of Nikolai Chernyshov putting his bicycle in the boot of his car
6. Close of Nikolai Chernyshov
7. Mid of Russian soldier at the check point
8. Mid of Andrei Oliynik, deputy head of Ukrainian checkpoint, leaving the border zone
9. Close of Andrei Oliynik
10. Close of road sign reading in Russian: "Attention! State border of Ukraine. No trespassing."
11. Mid of Olga Mikhaleva sowing seeds in her field
12. Close of Olga Mikhaleva
13. Zoom in to sign in village reading (Ukrainian): "Ukrainian Railroad"
RESIDENTS OF THIS VILLAGE HAVE LIVED TOGETHER PEACEFULLY --
EVERY SINCE THE BREAKUP OF THE SOVIET UNION SPLIT THEM BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA.
BUT NOW - TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE LEFT THE FUTURE OF THE AREA UNCERTAIN --
DIVIDING LOYALTIES AND HINDERING MOVEMENT ACROSS THE BORDER.
FOLLOWING THE RUSSIAN ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA -- SOME FEAR THAT A VISA SYSTEM WILL BE INTRODUCED.
"WE LIVED OKAY BEFORE. YOU COULD ARRIVED CROSS THE BORDER," SAYS THIS MAN --
ADDING "MY SISTER LIVES ON THE OTHER SIDE. MY FRIENDS LIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE."
THE CROSSING POINT HAS BEEN PEACEFUL SO FAR --
BUT UKRANIAN BORDER GUARDS HAVE FOUND SUSPICIOUS ITEMS ON SOME RUSSIAN VISITORS.
"WE HAVE FOUND GUNS AND KNIVES, AXES, BATS, CROW-BARS, AND ANTI-UKRAINIAN SYMBOLS," SAID THIS CHECKPOINT WORKER.
NONE OF THEM WERE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE UKRANIAN SIDE.
THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN BORDER CROSSES THROUGH THE VEGETABLE FIELDS OF THIS WOMAN.
SHE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE A MILITARY ESCALATION IN THE REGION ANDS HOPES THAT POLITICIANS WILL FIGURE THE CONFLICT OUT PEACEFULLY.
SIGOUT - Bob McCall/Associated Press