A very large group of migrants gathered in Belarus near the border with Poland. They have been trying to break through barbed wire and enter the territory of the European Union, reported the Polish Defense Ministry.
The Polish Defense Ministry published a video taken from the air, which shows that several hundred people near the border strip from on the Belarusian side. Large groups of migrants are also observed near Grodno, near the border crossings Bruzgi (Belarus) and Kuznica (Poland).
Grupa migrantów znajduje się obecnie w okolicach Kuźnicy pic.twitter.com/w5VxXp9QqQ— Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej 🇵🇱 (@MON_GOV_PL) November 8, 2021
Before that, the State Border Service of Belarus reported that "a large group of migrants carrying their belongings was moving along the highway to the border with Poland."
"Poland's Border Guard Service has repeatedly reported on how it pushes migrants by the thousands back to the border with Belarus. Refugees has to take such a step of despair because of the indifference and inhuman attitude of the Polish authorities," the Belarusian State Border Committee said in a statement.
Poland has deployed about 12,000 soldiers near the border with Belarus, Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said.
Polskie Radio reported, citing Polish government spokesperson Piotr Müller, that an emergency meeting will be held today with the participation of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and the Ministers of National Defense and Internal Affairs because of the events on the border.
Lithuania, whose border is located 40-50 kilometers from the scene, has decided to redeploy its forces.
"During the weekend we prepared for all possible scenarios. Decisions will be made today. Meetings with the command of the Lithuanian Armed Forces are now taking place. We are looking into the possibility of deploying an additional number of combat ready troops. Also, actions have already been coordinated with the police, the Public Security Service, and our forces are being redeployed. We are preparing for all possible scenarios," the newspaper Delfi quoted the head of the Lithuanian border service Rustam Lyubaev as saying.
Around 2pm Moscow time, Polish security forces reported that the migrants had made attempts to break through the border.
The Belarusian agency Belta, in turn, published a video in which migrants throw logs on barbed wire, and Polish security forces carrying shields use gas in response.
🔴 PILNE | Polskie służby udaremniły próbę siłowego przedarcia się na polską stronę przez migrantów na południe od przejścia granicznego w Kuźnicy. Sytuacja została opanowana. pic.twitter.com/iJNvufd524— MSWiA (@MSWiA_GOV_PL) November 8, 2021
The migrant crisis on the border of the EU countries and Belarus began after the European Union introduced sanctions against Minsk because of the forced landing of the Ryanair plane with the former editor-in-chief of the Telegram channel Nexta Roman Protasevich on board. Lukashenko then said that Belarus will no longer help Western countries control illegal migration at its borders.
The Polish authorities accused the Belarusian side of creating the migration crisis. Poland and Lithuania imposed a state of emergency due to the growing flow of refugees. The Lithuanian authorities decided to start building a wall on the border with Belarus. Latvia also announced the strengthening of border controls.
In October, Lukashenko, responding to a question from CNN whether he was using migrants as revenge for the EU sanctions, said that "only weak people can take revenge": "Sorry for immodesty, I do not consider myself a weakling. And I do not consider it necessary to take revenge on the European Union."
Since August, Lithuania has begun the deportation of illegal migrants.