As reported by Censor.NET, a resident of the occupied territory of the Luhansk region told correspondents for Vlada.io news outlet that employees of the so-called "DPR" customs" created by the illegal groups of militants at the border between Donetsk and Luhansk regions impounded goods he was carrying and forced him to pay a "fine" for attempt to smuggle cigarettes from Luhansk to Donetsk.
"It is hard to find a job now. Besides, I'm a disabled person in constant need of medicines. So I decided to make some cash. There is a difference in living standards in the "LPR" and "DPR"... The prices [in the "DPR"] are also lower which encourages some poor guys... to purchase goods in the "DPR" and sell them in the "LPR," the resident of occupied Luhansk said.
He purchased a small batch of cigarettes and tried to bypass the militants' "customs point" in the vicinity of Debaltseve by car. However, his car stuck on a country road where it was found by the people in military uniforms. The militants accused the man of smuggling, brought him to the checkpoint. They started threatening him and demanding to "dime out his accomplices."
"They accused me of trespassing while all of this looked completely ridiculous. How could there be a state border, if they are allegedly fighting for the "unified Novorossia?" he said.
He signed a protocol drawn up by the militants. They found the person guilty, but released him and gave him back his car and a part of the goods due to "mitigating circumstances" (ill health and so-called "sincere acknowledgement") However, the militants forced him to pay a fine of 30,000 Russian rubles (about 13,000 hryvnia or $480).
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