They are deeply disturbing images from the long green border between Poland and Belarus. Hundreds, if not thousands, of refugees are trying to get through the barriers to the European Union. Tens of thousands of security forces have now arrived on the Polish side. Warsaw’s government and the EU accuse the ruler in Minsk, Alexander Lukashenko, of allowing people to be flown in on a targeted basis. It is certain that special units of the Belarusians will bring them to the border in buses and trucks, says SZ Eastern Europe correspondent Florian Hassel. There is “solid evidence” that Belarusian soldiers with uniforms and weapons “stood behind the migrants while they tried to tear down the fence and break through the barbed wire.”
On the other hand, the Polish border guards are also using illegal “pushbacks” to push back the refugees. Lukashenko had already said openly in parliament in Minsk at the end of May that the West would “now do our work”. He meant drug trafficking and preventing migrants from entering the country. He is following a “plan drawn up with the Russian secret service FSB to destabilize the EU through the flow of migrants”. In addition, he would take revenge for the fact that he was criticized by the EU for the presidential election he had falsified and that the West supported the opposition. “Maybe he’s hoping the sanctions will be eased,” said Hassel. On the other hand, Belarus also earns a lot of money by directing the flow of refugees. It is estimated that a migrant would have to pay up to $ 15,000 to Minsk travel agencies and smugglers.
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Moderation, editing: Lars Langenau
Editor: Vinzent-Vitus Leitgeb
Production: Jakob Arnu
Additional audio material via Reuters and the Nexta TV Twitter account.
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