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Essay: The Russia Kazakhstan border

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  • Subject area(s): Geography essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: 11 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 356 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 2 (approx)

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The border between Russia and Kazakhstan is the longest continuous border in the world, it is more than 7000 kilometres long, this is why it is such an important place for the fight against drug trafficking as well as for drug trafficking itself.

The amount of drug related arrests in this area are evidence of the enormous scale of drug trafficking. For example, between 1997 and 2004 the South Eastern Regional Department of Border Guard Service caught more than 3.5 tons of heroin. But because the border and customs service don’t always stock their seizures, there is a big chance that this figure is underestimated. Experts estimate that the customs and border services seize less than 10 procent of drugs.

Volume and conditions of trafficking drugs over the border depend on certain factors, for example: landscape, communication, border regime and involvement of locals.

The border on the Russian side looks very similar to the border on the Kazakh side, both sides have steppe and semi-deserts. The rivers divide the two countries over 150 kilometres. These natural obstacles are mostly found on the border near the Republic of Altai, here are mountains and that makes communication much more difficult than any other place on the border. Even though these natural features are obstacles around the border there is still a possibility for transportation. There are 200 roads (6 highways, 36 paved roads, 33 roads without pavement, the rest are dirt roads) and there are 16 railways.

The transportation possibilities are useful for drug traffickers, since these are the roads they use even though there are checkpoints. The reason they still use these main roads is that it shortens the delivery time. The traffickers think that they can pass these checkpoints because they take advantage of the lack of sufficient equipment of the border security, they also take advantage of the traffic intensity and they use modern technology to hide their drugs. According to estimates, 70 procent of trafficked drugs went through a checkpoint. There is only one place where roads are not the main way to transport drugs, that is in the Republic of Altai. As is written above, there are mountains there so its hard to travel.

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