Belarus, Russia Charge Poland With “Escalating” Border Crisis For Firing Water Cannons At Migrants

Belarus, Russia Charge Poland With “Escalating” Border Crisis For Firing Water Cannons At Migrants

More stunning footage has come from the militarized Belarus-Poland border on Tuesday, as mostly Middle Eastern migrant throngs on the Belarussian side hurled projectiles toward Polish border police. They are also rushing various sections of the border fence in hopes of breaching it and entering the EU, with hopes of eventually making it to places like Germany.

The Polish side, which includes military troops, in turn unleashed water cannons on the migrants, in a somewhat unprecedented turn of events which observers have warned could turn into armed confrontation – given accusations that Belarussian agents are provoking the crisis.

Günlerdir Polonya-Belarus sınırında bekleyen yüzlerce mülteciye Polonya polisi tazyikli su ve biber gazıyla saldırıyor.

— Yeni Demokrasi (@YDemokrasi11) November 16, 2021

Making matters more difficult for the mob of migrants getting doused with water cannon as they rush the fence is the freezing temperature and deteriorating conditions. The clashes are currently focused at the crossing near the eastern Polish village of Kuznica, where tent cities have sprung up just meters from the border fence.

“Attention, attention, if you don’t follow orders, force will be used against you,”  Reuters reported a loudspeaker message from the Polish side as saying. Chaotic footage shows tear gas also being fired onto the Belarussian side. 

The situation is rapidly unraveling, as the shocking, chaotic footage below shows…

In recent days as the standoff has endured into a stalemate and heightened military presence on both sides of the border, migrants began using sticks, debris, and bottles in attempts to fight off Polish border guards.

#Belarus The situation at the border from a helicopter. Water cannons are being used. Migrants continue throwing stones at the Polish border. Look at Belarusian servicemen protecting the entrance to the checkpoint. Border guards and security forces who are unwilling to react

— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) November 16, 2021

As we detailed Sunday, at least 50 were able to breach the border over the weekend, with Polish police reportedly detaining most and sending them back to the border. It appears guards on the Belarusian side of the crossing have largely withdrawn, allowing the chaos to continue unchecked.

Poland’s border police have said the anti-riot measures are justified as officers have been seriously injured by the aggression coming from the Belarussian side, which Warsaw says has the approval of Belarussian authorities.

Koczujący przy przejściu granicznym w Bruzgach po stronie białoruskiej🇧🇾, od ok. godziny atakują polskie służby.Wobec agresywnych cudzoziemców użyto armatek wodnych.#zgranicy

— Straż Graniczna (@Straz_Graniczna) November 16, 2021

“Polish police said one officer was seriously injured when the migrants threw objects,” The Associated Press reported. “He was taken by ambulance to a hospital and it is likely his skull was fractured after being hit by an object.”

One top Polish official, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, played down recent speculation that the crisis could lead to an armed conflict between Belarus and Poland: “We have a hybrid war, but an actual war, with arms, is not on our horizon. We are facing an unpredictable enemy,” he said.

Water cannon and tear gas at the Belarus-Poland border this morning. Chaotic scenes. This is what we saw. Camera @mattgodtv Producer @BBCWillVernon @BBCNews @BBCWorld

— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) November 16, 2021

Polish MoD claims that the migrants got stun grenades from the Belarusian services in order to throw them at Polish officers.

— Tadeusz Giczan (@TadeuszGiczan) November 16, 2021

Belarus is using Poland’s tear gas and water cannon response to accuse its neighbor of escalation and “direct provocation” – at a moment the EU has approved fresh sanctions targeting the Alexander Lukashenko government. 

The Bruzgi checkpoint right now. #Belarus

— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) November 16, 2021

Russia, meanwhile, is backing Minsk’s accusations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday condemning the use of the harsh tactics against the migrants. He called the cross-border tear gas and water cannon usage “absolutely unacceptable”.

And here’s more on-the-ground harrowing footage from the Polish side, where hundreds of police and troops have mustered…

Tyler Durden
Tue, 11/16/2021 – 12:09

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