The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the establishment of a night camp for migrants near the Polish border. In the Grodno region, a logistics center is being converted so that women and children can stay overnight, the state agency Belta reported. The attached photos show how people spread mats and blankets in a hall.
After clashes between migrants and Polish uniformed men, the situation at the Kuznica-Brusgi border crossing had calmed down somewhat. “At the moment, the foreigners are returning from the Kuznica-Brusgi border crossing to the site of the former tent camp, which is a few hundred meters further on the border line,” said the border guards on Twitter. They also posted a video showing people at the edge of the forest behind the border fortifications, warming themselves around campfires.
According to reports from Poland and Belarus, Polish security forces used water cannons against the migrants in the morning. The Defense Ministry in Warsaw spoke of an “attack by migrants” at the Kuznica border crossing. “The attackers were mainly young, aggressive men,” wrote the authority on Twitter.
A spokesman for the Polish police said the people had been equipped with fire grenades and tear gas from the Belarusian side. They also threw stones at the officers. A border guard, a soldier and a police officer were injured. According to Polish information, the clashes ended after two hours. However, this information cannot be independently verified, as Poland does not allow media to report from the border region.
“Hybrid campaign against the unity of Europe”
The migrants stuck in Belarus should be able to return to their respective home countries on a safe route – “In addition to the humanitarian aid that is now due, this is the right way for those who are in the border area,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert in Berlin when asked, whether there are any considerations about accepting some of these people in Germany or other EU countries.
The EU accuses the authoritarian Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of smuggling people in from crisis areas and then pushing them towards the EU’s external border. For a week now, thousands of migrants have been waiting for help in the cold in the border area between Poland and Belarus. Some of them come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.
“Belarus is waging a hybrid campaign against the unity of Europe and is abusing the suffering of the refugees in an inhuman way for political purposes,” said a spokesman for the German Foreign Office. Germany stands here “in solidarity at the side of its partners and allies”.