Borders cannot arise in a moment. A long trail of increasing opacity follows formal agreements and treaties: time is needed to break valuable connections and acquaintances among people and businesses, and to redevelop new ones according to recent economic factors and sometimes illegal activities like smuggling.
For a long time I observed the process of border arising between Ukraine and Moldova, former Soviet republics, down the Dniester river. Despite all formalities and penalties, illegal transportation was going on beyond big towns and check-points.
Yampil, a small Ukrainian town, attracted Moldova farmers from Cosăuți and Iorjniţa villages who crossed the river by oars and boats, especially on fair days.
Gradually transport flow between the countries decreased. The number of boats usually stood by the river declined from year to year, and the banks seemed to slide apart because of their disappearance.
The led rope was installed as a reminder of the past common route across the Dniester, and that rope was supposed to prevent the countries from moving away further. At least, symbolically.
The lights turned on every night and went off at dawn automatically. Of course, this installation like any other on a state border could not be mounted with official approval, so legally it was an anonymous construction.
The rope was in operation for about a week after its installation, and then it was dismantled by border patrol officers, who thought it was something used by smugglers. Later there were several reports on local newspapers and TV channels about new trafficking way blocked by border patrol forces, but they were quite frequent those times.