Until this crisis, the border to russia had been a fairly quiet place of commercial transit and visits, largely because russia had been seen to control who were able to approach the border region. These controls were apparently loosened, and both local and federal russian authorities said to push migrants toward the border to Europe.
It should be said that the kremlin rarely appears to manufacture incidents like the 2015-2016 events out of whole cloth - rather, they are keen to latch on and amplify to scenarios which begin without their direct contribution. Whether the 2015 situation was of their manufacture or not, they certainly were contributing to the events. 7/13