Borderline Guardians

Hundreds of civilians in military outfits conceal themselves camouflaged within the forests of Bulgaria to prevent illegal immigrants crossing over from Turkey; they are the borderline guardians. In 2013 it was the building of barbed wire and cement barriers; then came the frontier officers and Frontex agents. Now in addition to these there are the volunteers of the Bulgarian Veterans Military Union Vasil Levski and of the Shipka Bulgarian National Movement. They move stealthily, they are well trained, they communicate using walkie talkies and bird whistles in the thick mountain vegetation of Strandja, an area of land suspended between East and West, facing the Black Sea. Their commander is Vladimir Ruscev, a retired former officer of the Bulgarian army. His movement counts 800 volunteers and thousands of supporters. For four years they have been financing themselves and in groups of 30-40 take it in turns to patrol a portion of the 230 km border with Turkey.