Following the spring unrest in Kyrgyzstan, Astana has constructed a new barrier along portions of its southern border. Kazakh officials say the fence will keep out smugglers.
The coils of concertina wire abut a major East-West highway near Tokmok. In one place, the new border demarcation divides a Kyrgyz gas station from the road, leaving it rusting in a no-man’s-land.
Tensions with Astana flared after the April 7 uprising in Bishkek. In response, Astana unilaterally closed the border for weeks, doing untold damage to Kyrgyzstan's economy.
Some have speculated that construction of the fence was a condition of membership in the new Customs Union among Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
To read the full story