Polish security forces used a water cannon against migrants in Belarus who are throwing rocks across the border, shows.
“Attention, attention, if you don’t follow orders, force will be used against you,” a loudspeaker message directed at migrants throwing objects said, according to the footage shown on Polish broadcaster TVP.
An estimated 4,000 migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have been congregating at the Belarus border for weeks in an attempt to make it into Poland. The EU said Belarus is encouraging the migrants to cross the border in revenge for sanctions last year over crackdowns on protests regarding Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s reelection.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends an annual press conference in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Belarus’ authoritarian leader on Monday charged that the opposition was plotting a coup in the runup to last year’s presidential election that triggered a monthslong wave of mass protests. President Alexander Lukashenko held his annual press conference on Monday, the one-year anniversary of the vote that handed him a sixth term in office but was denounced by the opposition and the West as rigged. (Pavel Orlovsky/BelTA photo via AP) (Pavel Orlovsky/BelTA photo via AP)
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More than 20,000 Polish security service members from the police, border guard and army are along the border near the Polish town of Kuznica, Reuters reported. The migrants say the Belarus government is not allowing them to go back to the country’s capital, Minsk.
A Polish soldier rides a Rosomak Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) during migrant crisis on the Belarusian – Polish border, in Dubicze Cerkiewne, Poland November 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)
Migrants also threw logs and bottles at the border and Polish security forces, according to the outlet. The Interior Ministry said a policeman suffered a suspected fractured skull when an object hit him.
At least 150 Iraqis have registered for an evacuation flight from Minsk to Iraq scheduled for Thursday. But other Iraqis have struggled to register. Iraq’s consul for Russia and Belarus, Majid al-Kinani, said the country is working with Belursian authorities to amend the situation.
“The number is fluctuating, because people are stuck on the Belarusian border with Poland or Lithuania and so far they have not been authorised to go back to Minsk by the Belarusian authorities,” al-Kinani said.
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The news comes after Ukraine warned this week that its border with Russia is “seriously deteriorating,” and the county is speeding up construction of a naval base amid concerns of an invasion from Russia.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, attend a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met for the first time Monday at a summit in Paris to try to end five years of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP)
Belarus and Russia are allies. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the migrants in Belarus and Russia amassing 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border are related and part of a “broad strategy to shatter Europe.”
“When we see migrants used as a weapon, when we see disinformation used as a weapon, when we see gas used as a weapon, and soldiers and their guns … these are not separate elements,” Kuleba told Politico Brussels Playbook on Monday. “They are all part of a broad strategy to shatter Europe. We should see everything that is happening east of the EU border and inside of the EU as part of a general effort. These are not separate events taking place.”