According to the 0243rd Border Troops in Selenge Province, there has recently been a sharp increase in the number of people illegally crossing Mongolia’s border with Russia. This has been put at 18.7% on the same period last year.
For example, in January, three Russian citizens crossed the border, when drunk; no less than 31 Mongolian citizens crossed the frontier on 8 times occassions. The 0243rd Border Troops control Mongolia’s long northern frontier; the terrain is rich in forest and difficult to control. Because of the forests, there is also a high risk of fires. Recently, some Russian groups have been attempting to smuggle drugs across the border; at the same time, the number of attempts to smuggle hawks and other birds of prey from the Mongolian side has also risen. It will be recalled that in 2015, a combined operation involving the border troops, the Mongolian intellegence agency and the police investigated an attempt to smuggle 40 hawks across the border in Khuvsgul Province.