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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Belarus. Migrants in Minsk. Recordings

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The TVN24 station reached recordings from Minsk showing large groups of migrants, most likely from the Middle East. In one of them, several dozen people are waiting in a parking lot in the city center. In recent weeks, migrants come to the border with Poland and Lithuania from the capital of Belarus, to which they have reached by plane from several countries, including minibuses and buses.

The recordings that TVN24 won were made on Tuesday. They show groups of migrants gathered in Minsk. Most of them are men.

One of the videos shows people waiting in a parking lot in the city center. In recent weeks, they reached the border with Poland, among other buses and coaches. Another video shows crowds of people sitting at tables in a shopping mall.

The recordings were recorded and sent to TVN24, although there are consequences in Belarus for taking similar photos without permission. The Belarusian capital is constantly patrolled by officers from OMON and other Belarusian services.


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Crowds of migrants in a shopping mall in MinskTVN24

Logistics center near the border

On Tuesday, the Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported that migrants in small groups leave the border crossing in Bruzgi and head towards the recently created logistics center near the Polish border.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka instructed the governor of Grodno, Uladzimir Karanik, and the inspector of the region, Yury Karajeu, to prepare such a place, the Puł Firsto portal, similar to the press service of Lukashenka, reported. As it was added, mainly women and children are to be placed there. The agency also reported on preparations for the admission of migrants that had already begun on its premises.

Migrants set up a camp next to the border crossing in Kuźnicaborder guards

On Wednesday, Polish services provided information about migrants leaving the camp near Kuźnica at the crossing with Belarus. The Border Guard wrote that “they are moving under the supervision of Belarusian services to an unknown location”.

Flights to Belarus

Since the spring, the number of attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions has increased sharply. The EU and its member states emphasize that this is the result of the deliberate actions of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, which instrumentally uses migrants in response to sanctions imposed on Belarus.

Travelers from Afghanistan and the Middle East region have fewer and fewer flight options to Minsk. On Thursday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Turkey released a ban on the sale of tickets to citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen, going to Belarus. On Saturday, they informed about the suspension of flights to Belarus Syrian Airlines Cham Wingsexplaining this decision “by the critical situation on the border between Belarus and Poland”.

On Monday in Brussels, the head of German diplomacy Heiko Maas said that bans on the use of European airspace for airlines involved in the transport of migrants to Belarus cannot be ruled out.

In the photo from November 11, police officers at the Polish-Belarusian border near KuźnicaPAP / Irek Dorożański / Command of the Territorial Defense Forces

A state of emergency in part of Poland

From September 2, due to the migratory pressure in the border zone with Belarus in 183 towns of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodships there is a state of emergency. Under the ordinance of President Andrzej Duda, issued at the request of the Council of Ministers, the state of emergency was first introduced for 30 days, and then at the end of September the Sejm agreed to extend it by another 60.

Journalists have no access to the area under the state of emergency. When reporting on the events at the border, the media can use almost exclusively official government recordings and information.

Currently, the Sejm is working on a draft amendment to the act on border protection, which will apply after the end of the state of emergency. It is to introduce provisions for journalists’ access to border areas.

Main photo source: TVN24

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