Where do all the refugees who are now on the border between Belarus and Poland come from? Most probably they were brought by Belarus with two purposes. One is to retaliate against EU sanctions against Belarus after the authorities in Belarus forced a passenger plane to land in Minsk in order to arrest a political opponent of President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Feel free to read my blog about this. The changing purpose is Russia’s hope to split the EU and make Poland unstable, thereby withdrawing Poland from it. Many in Russia are talking about resurrecting the old Soviet empire. Refugees are used in a hybrid war completely cynically. Refugees who dream of a life of peace and freedom in Europe, who have probably been promised free passage to Poland and the EU through Belarus.
Russia uses all means, including hybrid warfare
In his attempt to destabilize Western Europe, Putin uses all means. Using refugees as an attempt to destabilize a society has been done by Russia in the past as well. We saw it during the refugee crisis on the border with Finnmark a few years ago. At the time, Russia probably had a slightly different motive, which was to try to get Norway to ease the sanctions that the EU and several other countries had imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s interference in Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Belarus and Russia have a common interest in such a hybrid war. Belarus for the Western sanctions against the country to end, Russia for destabilizing an old ally that Poland once was. That it is refugees who are used in this hybrid war is not accidental. The refugee policy in Western Europe has been humane and far more people in need of protection have settled here than in Eastern Europe. Poland is a country that accepts few refugees compared to the other EU countries. The hope may have been to create pressure on Poland to let these refugees in. Pressure from EU countries that have taken in far more refugees than Poland.
Responsibility for the situation lies with Poland. That’s where the refugees are and that’s where they came from. Belarus has no tradition of accepting refugees, so it is rather inconceivable that they will do so now either. Left behind are some poor people who allowed themselves to be lured by Lukashenko in the belief of a better life in Europe.
Those who are now standing at the border say that they were promised easy access to Poland through Belarus. The only way to enter Belarus is for them to come by plane. Belarus uses the refugees in its hybrid war against Poland. The danger of the use of military force in the area is present. With Lukashenko as president, nothing is certain.