Вісник Київського національного університету імені Тараса Шевченка


Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv



Translated in Ukranian by I.Savchyk

Eckert Denis
ORCID iD https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6512-2197
CNRS Géocités – Paris – Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, Germany

This article analyses Ukraine’s current borders, de jure and de facto, from a geopolitical point of view. Significant changes in the border regime occurred after the political events of 2014. The emergence of de facto borders after the annexation of Crimea and the hostilities in eastern Ukraine raises the question not only of the direction of the Ukrainian state’s foreign policy but also has fundamental consequences for domestic policy. The presence of international organisations monitoring parts of the state border shows that Ukraine is involved in the process of combating illegal immigration and smuggling, on the one hand, and that it has not solved all its state-building problems, on the other. The delimitation of state borders (demarcation) with the other former Soviet republics has taken a long time for land borders and has not been completed for maritime borders. Today’s Ukraine, in the context of European integration, opens its borders to the West and minimizes its contacts with the East. The sharp deterioration in relations with Russia following the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s support for separatist entities in eastern Ukraine has led to the abandonment of cross-border cooperation between border regions, including for mechanisms as effective as Euroregions. The need to amend current Ukrainian legislation, to take into account the political and legal status of de facto borders is an important point at the moment. To achieve this objective, it is necessary not only to draw on the experience of the functioning of the State border with Moldova in its section not controlled by the Moldovan government but also to develop new approaches to facilitate the lives of displaced persons, legalize their legal status and facilitate the crossing of the line of demarcation.

geopolitics, Ukraine, state border, separation line, separatism.


DOI: http://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2721.2019.75.4


  1. Amilhat-szary A.-L.,Giraut F., 2015, Borderities : The Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders. In A.-L. Amilhat-Szary et F. Giraut (Ed.), Borderities and the Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders (p. 1‑19). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Dmytrouk, 2014 Делімітація і демаркація державного кордону України: проблеми та пріоритети [Delimitatsia ta demarkatsia derjavnoho kordonou Oukraпny : problemy ta prioritety]. Регіональна історія України, т. 8, 109‑117.
  3. Dnistriansky М., 1992, Кордони України. Територіально-адміністративний устрій [Кordony Oukraпny. Territorialno-administratyvnyi oustrii]Lviv: Svit.
  4. Dnistriansky М., 2010, Політична географія та геополітика України [Polititchna geografia ta geopolitika Ukrayny]. Ternopil: Navtchalna kniha — Bohdan.
  5. Eckert D., 2007, La Russie. Paris: Hachette.
  6. Eckert D., Lambroschini S., 2017, La ligne de démarcation entre le Donbass et le reste de l’Ukraine. M@ppemonde, (119). http://mappemonde.mgm.fr/119lieu1/
  7. European union border assistance mission to Moldova and Ukraine, 2016, Annual Report : 1 December 2015 – 30 November 2016 (p. 34). Odesa: European Union Border Assistance. http://eubam.org/publications/eubamannual-report-2016/
  8. Kappeler A., 2017, Ungleiche Brüder: Russen und Ukrainer vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. München: H. Beck Verlag. // Українська версія книги: Каппелер А., 2018, Нерівні брати. Українці та росіяни від середньовіччя до сучасності. Чернівці: Видавництво 21.
  9. Kolosov V., Vendina O. (Ed.)., 2011, Российскоукраинское пограничьедвадцать лет разделенного единства [Rossiiyskoe-Ukrainskoe Pogranichie: dvadtsat’ let rasdelennogo edinstva]. Moscow: Novyi Khronograf.
  10. Kravchenko V., 2016, Ukraine: history confronts geography. In I. Liikanen, J. W. Scott, & T. (Ed.), The EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood: Migration, borders and regional stability (p. 36‑49). London and New York: Routledge.
  11. Liber G., 2016, Total wars and the making of modern Ukraine, 1914-1954. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  12. Löwis (von) S., 2017, Frontières fantômes et ambivalence des espaces d’identification en Ukraine. L’Espace géographique, (2), 126‑
  13. Loza Y., 2015, Історичний атлас України [Istoritchnyi Atlas Ukrayny]. Kyiv : Mapa.
  14. Migreurop, 2016, Carte des camps 2016. Migreurop. http:// www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/carte_camps_fr.pdf
  15. Nail T., 2016, Theory of the Border. New York: Oxford University Press.
  16. Savtchouk I., Le trafic ferroviaire international de voyageurs en Ukraine, un pont entre l’Est et l’Ouest ou le choix d’un bloc ? Géotransports, vol. 2
  17. Seegel S., 2019, Any Lessons Learned? Echo Chambers of Staged Geopolitics and Ethnocentricity in Maps of the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict in February-March 2014, in von Löwis S. (ed) Umstrittene Räume in der Ukraine. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag.SHUKAN I., 2017, La Biélorussie après la crise ukrainienne : une prudente neutralité entre la l’Union européenne ? Paris: IRSEM.
  18. Zhurzhenko T., 2010, Borderlands into Bordered Lands: Geopolitics of Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine. Ibidem Verlag.

Full text PDF (.pdf)

Suggested citation:

Eckert, D., 2019. Ukrainian border: current state and problems. Visnyk Kyivskogo nacionalnogo universytetu imeni Tarasa Shevchenka, Geografiya [Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Geography], 2 (75), 24-28 (in  Ukranian, abstr. in English), doi: 10.17721/1728-2721.2019.75.4

Received Editorial Board 19.10.2019
Accepted for publication