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You can read this article in German: LINK
Despite Alexander Lukashenko’s veiled threats of blocking gas pipelines, the EU agreed to slap more sanctions on Belarus.
November 16th dawned on Minsk with a number of individuals and entities targeted for ‘facilitation of illegal border crossings into the EU.’
Poland and other EU members have accused Belarus of encouraging people to cross the Polish border in revenge for Western sanctions in relation to the August elections in the country.
Both sides of the border realize that this incident will drag on and are already preparing for winter. According to reports, the Belarusian authorities have started setting up a tent camp for migrants. They are bringing winter clothes, firewood, and it seems they are even going to install electricity. The Polish Army has also begun installing full-fledged living modules for personnel.
The United States joined in on the measures, saying that it would punish the alleged “inhumane facilitation” of migrant flows on the EU’s borders.
Still, seeing that there is little to be gained by such actions, the infamous White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was calling on Russia to use its influence on Lukashenko and have him cease its “callous exploitation and coercion of vulnerable people”.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who’s largely kept silent in the past months after angering Muslims around mid-year also joined in on the diplomatic push, speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone for nearly two hours. They agreed that tensions had to de-escalate.
Meanwhile, the timeline of the “march on the Polish border” is being outlined by Warsaw’s Ministry of Defense, mostly on Twitter.
It is presented as though these migrants are a group of militants, or a battle squad and are being controlled from a mobile command center, “far from the frontline”.
On November 13th, there was information about the first death on the part of the Polish military. The soldier died because of careless handling of weapons.
Reportedly, the relocation of migrants from the makeshift camp to the border crossing in Kuźnica is a planned operation by the Belarusian authorities. The action is most likely directed from the command vehicle located at the rear of the former migrant camp, the Defense ministry claimed.
There are even videos showing Belarusian soldiers pushing migrants onto the fence. A woman is heard shouting, someone is using gas, Polish and Belarusian soldiers are shouting at each other. The footage is taking place in pitch black, barely visible. It is showing that the situation is quite fragile and an escalation is not entirely out of the question.
Poland calls Minsk’s alleged actions “instrumentalizing the migrants for propaganda purposes.” A video tweet from the Polish MOD reportedly showed Belarusian media taking out their cameras and documenting the migrants at the border crossing. Poland has blocked access to any reporters in the area.
Soldiers of the 61st Independent Infantry Brigade, which is part of the land forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and serves in the forest and marshlands, will destroy illegal migrants and people masquerading as them on the Belarusian border, if they try to break into Ukraine, the press service of the brigade said.
One false rumor being spread is that there are buses on the Polish-Belarusian border which will take migrants to Germany. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia said Belarus must be held responsible over the migrant crisis.
Currently, the majority of the crisis is faced by Poland, but its neighbors expect that things will escalate sharply for them in the coming days and weeks.