3 Sudanese Detained After Swimming to Freedom
Three Sudanese nationals were detained by police and border guard officials after swimming across the Piusa River on the southeastern border with Russia.
Unlike one of their countrymen who drowned in mid-August, the three were in good health and they required no medical attention. The incident happened on Sunday morning.
The men were taken to a detention facility. They have since applied for asylum.
Like the part of the border where an Estonian counterintelligence officer went missing, only to turn up in a Moscow prison the next day, much of the southeastern border is actually an undemarcated "control line" that is not fortified and not regulated by any border treaty.
For 10 kilometers of straight-line distance, the Piusa forms a stretch of the Estonian-Russian border favored by illegal immigrants. The area is just several kilometers from the Russian-controlled town of Pechory (Petseri).
Besides the drowning death in August, one of three Sudanese illegal immigrants died of hypothermia in a January crossing of the Piusa.
Many Vietnamese are also making the crossing, with the most recent major apprehension taking place on August 11 in an example of good cooperation between Russian and Estonian officials.