Watch 'Weaponized Migration' In Action: Hundreds Storm Polish Border From Belarus

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Apr 14, 2024 - 11:35 AM

Coming from Russia-allied Belarus, hundreds of "very aggressive" migrants carrying ladders and wielding rocks and tree branches stormed the border of Poland on Wednesday, but were repelled by security forces. Belarus has long been accused of "weaponizing" migrants by encouraging them to travel to Belarus only so they can be pushed into Poland and Lithuania. 

According to a statement issued by the Polish Border Guard and reporting by Babel, the onslaught took place around 10 am in a marshy area in the dense Białowieża forest, which is a popular but difficult avenue for attempted crossings by migrants from around the world.    

Hoping to reach Germany, these Turkish Kurds were stranded in the Bialowieza forest in 2021 (Alvaro Canovas/Paris Match/Gettys via Le Monde Diplomatique)

Video shared by the Border Guard shows several pairs of migrants marching through the marsh and carrying what appear to be primitive ladders made from forest wood. Next we see migrants massing along rows of concertina wire laid down in the watery marsh, with Polish security forces confronting them from the other side.

According to the Polish Border Guard statement: 

A group of over 220 foreigners tried to enter Poland illegally in this way. The foreigners were very aggressive - they threw tree branches and stones at the Border Guard and Polish Army patrols to clear their way to Western Europe.

During the incident, a dangerous tool made of wood and nails was confiscated from the foreigners. This attempt was successfully foiled. The migrants retreated deeper into Belarus.

While the government statement didn't describe the origins of the migrants, the news-aggregator Twitter account Visegrád 24 said they were from Africa and the Middle East. It did not cite a source for that claim, but it's been previously reported that migrants attempting to enter Poland from Belarus have come from a wide variety of non-European countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Yemen, sub-Saharan Africa, China and Cuba.  

In recent years, Belarus and Lithuania have built built border walls stretching for hundreds of kilometers. The countries have accused Belarus and its president, Alexander Lukashenko, of using migrants as a means of alternative warfare. Here's how Foreign Affairs summed up the allegations in 2021, as huge masses of migrants surged from Belarus:

"[Belarus] enticed thousands of migrants and would-be asylum seekers, primarily Kurds from Iraq and Syria, as well as some Afghans, to his country with promises of easy access to the European Union.

Flown into the capital, Minsk, on special visas, they were bused to Belarus’s western border, where they were left in large, unprotected encampments as winter approached and temperatures plunged."

In March, Human Rights Watch urged Poland to stop its practice of "violent pushbacks" against migrants, which the group says has led to 55 fatalities, including some children. Some die in the forest from exposure, starvation and lack of clean water. 

From the archives, here's more video from previous border onslaughts