- Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border flared up in November as Middle Eastern and African refugees started arriving in Belarus to cross into the EU. Warsaw claims Belarus orchestrated the crisis, while Minsk blames the Western military ops for the growing migrant flow.

Polish Soldier Who Fled to Belarus Says Fears for Life if Returned

© AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski Polish security forces block migrants on the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland, on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.
 Polish security forces block migrants on the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland, on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.12.2021
MINSK (Sputnik) – Emil Ciecko, a Polish soldier who fled to Belarus over objection of treatment of migrants at the common border, expressed a desire to remain in the country over fears for his life and security in his homeland.
A group of Belarusian border guards detained Ciecko last week at the Tushemlya frontier post of the Grodno border group. The soldier said he was a member of the Polish Border Guard, expressed his consternation with Warsaw’s policy and treatment of migrants, and requested political asylum in Belarus.
"Returning to Poland is death for me," Ciecko said in an interview with Belarus 1 broadcaster, an excerpt of which was shown on Tuesday evening, adding that he would like to stay in Belarus, given what awaits him in Poland if he is extradited there.
Earlier in the day, the Polish prosecutor’s general office said that it has charged Ciecko with desertion, an offense that could result in up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The soldier recounted details of poor treatment of migrants by Polish forces at the border, including killings of asylum seekers and two volunteers who tried to assist migrants.
Warsaw has recently stepped up the number of border guards near Belarus amid illegal migrants forming makeshift refugee camps right at the border, yet another escalation in the migrant crisis ongoing for several months.
In this image taken with a drone Polish servicemen use a water cannon during clashes between migrants and Polish border guards at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.12.2021
US Air Force Conducting Electronic Reconnaissance Over Whole Territory of Belarus
Minsk has criticized the move, saying Poland's decision to deploy 23,000 soldiers, tanks, air defense systems, and other equipment to the Belarusian border cannot be seen as an adequate reaction to the crisis.
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