WATCH: Migrants Massing on Poland Border, Lured by False Promise of Free Passage to Germany

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Polish Government

Clashes between predominantly Iraqi and Afghan migrants bussed to the European Union’s frontier by Belarus and Polish forces may be repeated as numbers swell at crossing points once again.

Pictures and video released by the Polish government showing crowds massing on the Belarusian side of the Polish border reveal a new intensification of Europe’s border crisis — caused, according to Warsaw, by false claims the border would be opened to migrants seeking transport to Germany.

The Polish government has been forthcoming in the border crisis in releasing snippets of intelligence it has gleaned on the migrants’ activities, including messages instructing them how to act.

One such message was said by Polish government spokesman Stanisław Żaryn to be representative of rumours and “fake news” put about by Belarus that buses would come to the Polish border to take migrants directly to Germany.

Migrants gather on the Belarusian-Polish border near the Polish border crossing in Kuznica on November 15th, 2021. Thousands of migrants — most of them from the Middle East — have crossed or attempted to cross the EU and NATO border since the summer. Western countries have accused the Belarusian regime, which is backed by Russia, of engineering the crisis in retaliation against EU sanctions, charges that Minsk has denied. / Belarus OUT (Photo by OKSANA MANCHUK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

The claims that the migrants will be given free passage to Germany if they can reach Polish territory has been debunked not only by Poland — including in direct loudhailer addresses to groups massed on their border — but also by the German government.

The German Foreign Office said “Rumours that Germany is planning to send busses… are false. Whoever spreads these lies puts people in great danger” in an English-language message shared on social media on Sunday.

Nevertheless, aerial footage released by the Polish government has shown large numbers of migrants have massed at a border crossing point in Kuźnica, in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. In some shots, Belarusian military vehicles can be seen at a distance. On the Polish side, ranks of police officers are supported by soldiers, with water cannon at their backs.

The stand-off resembles the last major clash on Monday last week, when hundreds of mostly young men were driven to the Polish border from within Belarus. In that case, the migrants came armed with axes, shovels, and wire cutters and attempted to force the border by felling trees onto protective fences or cutting and smashing them down.

Polish officers defending the border have also been attacked by both the migrants driven there by the Belarusian state and Belarusian troops themselves, being pelted with stones and dazzled with strobe lights and blinding lasers.

Migrants gather on the Belarusian-Polish border near the Polish border crossing in Kuznica on November 15th, 2021. Thousands of migrants — most of them from the Middle East — have crossed or attempted to cross the EU and NATO border since the summer. Western countries have accused the Belarusian regime, which is backed by Russia, of engineering the crisis in retaliation against EU sanctions, charges that Minsk has denied. / Belarus OUT (Photo by OKSANA MANCHUK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Migrants gather on the Belarusian-Polish border near the Polish border crossing in Kuznica on November 15th, 2021. Thousands of migrants — most of them from the Middle East — have crossed or attempted to cross the EU and NATO border since the summer. Western countries have accused the Belarusian regime, which is backed by Russia, of engineering the crisis in retaliation against EU sanctions, charges that Minsk has denied. – Belarus OUT (Photo by Oksana MANCHUK / BELTA / AFP) / Belarus OUT (Photo by OKSANA MANCHUK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Poland and the European Union claim the attempts on their borders are an exercise in “hybrid warfare” by Belarus and Russia, with migrants exploited as a sub-military means of destabilising Europe.

Belarus has been subject to EU sanctions for months, particularly following the Belarusian hijacking of a European passenger flight to snatch a Lukashenko-critical journalist onboard.

The decision to use mass migration consciously as a weapon against Europe follows the great damage done to European stability and solidarity in the aftermath of the 2015 Europe Migrant Crisis, created by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to unilaterally declare the continent’s borders open to migrants.

This drove a wedge between Western European pro-mass migration states and Europe’s central European members — like Poland — who did not approve of the move and have drifted away from German leadership since.

The perception of rising crime as well as repeated terror attacks authored by migrant-crisis era arrivals has also undermined public trust and eroded European resolve.

Meanwhile, Turkey has received enormous sums of European cash in return for controlling some of the flow of migrants travelling to Europe through its borders — a situation that may have been observed with interest in Minsk and Moscow.

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