13:48 Jun. 4, 2016
Despite a ban on mining, an illegal trade in amber is flourishing
A simmering conflict over amber mining, the economic lifeblood on Ukraine's northwestern flank, boiled over into an armed skirmish here one recent afternoon.
At the end of March, police officers loosed a few rounds from automatic rifles in a standoff with hundreds of illegal miners. The miners fought back with a hailstorm of rocks.
"The resources belong to the people, not the cops, oligarchs and politicians," said Oleksandr Vasilyev, a 42-year-old regional lawmaker and amber miner.