© Agence France-Presse/John Macdougall
People queue up to cross from Ukraine to Russia at the Uspenka border post, Ukraine.
People queue up to cross from Ukraine to Russia at the Uspenka border post, held by pro-Russian separatists, on September 26, 2014.
Ukraine's president may have ordered the closure of his nation's border with Russia but, when asked about it, the rebel commander of this crossing point just smiles and points to the snaking queue of cars traversing the international line.
"As you can see, it is very much open," the border post commander at Uspenka who identifies himself by his nickname "Arshi" says.
Uspenka is just a speck on the map in eastern Ukraine, but hundreds of vehicles had motored there Friday to travel along a country road from the rebel-held Donetsk region to Russia, and in the other direction.
In the view of all those interviewed there by AFP, that border post -- and even the border itself -- were bound to disappear soon.
"Oh, the border is supposed to be closed, is it? I wasn't aware," Archi comments archly.
"What Kiev says or decides is of no interest to me. This is no longer Ukraine here. Soon, when we are united with Russia, we won't even have this outpost here, or it'll be hardly anything at all, just a little checkpoint."
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the temporary closure of the 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) border Thursday in a bid to halt the flow of weapons from Ukraine's former Soviet master to pro-Russian separatists.
But by the time of the signing of the ceasefire for eastern Ukraine, on September 20, the rebels already controlled a 260-kilometre stretch of the border.