With this statement began one of the largest in recent years in Europe, the migrant crisis, which ended in March 2022. Freedom remembers what happened.

Stage 1. The beginning of the influx of migrants, the first provocations

First of all, large flows of migrants went to Lithuania, in September there were more than 4.2 thousand of them, mostly citizens of Asia and Africa.

Then Latvia and Poland felt tensions on their borders.

The governments in Vilnius and Warsaw soon announced the construction of a fence on their borders.

They, as well as the government in Riga, tightened migration legislation and imposed a state of emergency, which was then continued several times.

The Prime Minister of Poland

Mateusz Morawiecki

and other Polish politicians expressed confidence that the scenario of "hybrid aggression" against the European Union was developed by Minsk not alone, but in close cooperation with Moscow, where Putin was very interested in further destabilizing Europe.

Alexander Lukashenko addresses migrants in Bruzgi.

November 26, 2021

The first stage of the crisis lasted from July to October 2021 inclusive.

Migrants were first taken to temporary refugee camps in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, where they sometimes staged fights and riots, trying to escape, and then, after the new version of the law came into force, began to be blocked in the border and sent back to Belarus. .

Belarusian security forces actively assisted migrants: destroyed fences, blinded other people's border guards with searchlights and did not interfere with foreigners when they threw stones and bottles at their colleagues.

This has been repeatedly recorded in videos and photos.

Stage 2. Elementary camp face to face with the border, assault

On the morning of November 8, a large convoy of several hundred migrants appeared on the Belarusian side of the border, escorted by armed Belarusian security forces to the barbed wire on the border with Poland, trying to cross it.

According to various estimates, their number was from 2 to 4 thousand people.

In the following days, the migrants, with the assistance of Belarusian security forces, set up camp on the border and repeatedly stormed the border, using any items at hand.

Poland has drawn additional military and police forces to the border.

The situation has reached such a point of tension that on November 10, MEP

Radoslaw Sikorski

said that Lukashenko should be recognized as a terrorist and extradited to the International Tribunal.

Russia supported the actions

of Alexander Lukashenko


Lukashenko and his subordinates said they could not hinder migrants who "expressed a desire to go to Germany" and other European countries.

State television has directly accused the European Union of not wanting to resolve the crisis.

Belarusian security forces control migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border.

November 8, 2021

At noon on November 16, migrants stormed the border using light and noise grenades, which, according to the Polish side, were received from Belarusian security forces.

According to the results of those events, the chief commander of the police

Yaraslau Shymchyk

stated that 12 Polish security officers, soldiers and policemen, were injured.

On November 18, the Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus opened a criminal case against "officials of the Republic of Poland" for "propaganda of war."

Prosecutor General

Andrei Shved

called the reaction of Poles to the storming of the border "illegal actions against humanity."

Prior to that, the Investigative Committee of Belarus opened a criminal case on the fact of protection of the Polish border from attacks by migrants with water cannons and other special means under Art.

128 of the Criminal Code (Crimes against the security of mankind. Mass acts of cruelty committed in connection with racial and ethnic origin).

Stage 3. Evacuation flights, increase in the number of dead

In late November, the governments of Iraq and Syria, where the largest number of illegal migrants came from, agreed on evacuation flights.

In Lithuania, migrants were offered money for agreeing to return to their country of residence, some people accepted the offer.

Evacuation flights departed from Minsk mainly to Baghdad and Erbil airports.

Polish border guards rescue a migrant from Egypt who got into the swamp, November 2021

The first known victim of the migrant crisis appeared on August 4 at the Lithuanian border.

Belarusian state TV channels said the man was beaten in Lithuania and did not survive.

Lithuania has accused the Lukashenko regime of provocation.

Living for several months in the open air, in the woods, warmed only by fires, which dropped trees that were cut down in complete silence of the Belarusian security forces, it was very difficult for migrants to survive.

When the cold months came, it became even harder for migrants to survive.

At the border, Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian border guards began to find corpses more often.

As of November 28, 17 people were killed: 13 migrants directly at the border, 1 unborn child, 3 migrants at other points of the "Belarusian route".

Migrants at Minsk airport awaiting evacuation flight to Baghdad.

! November 8, 2021

According to the Polish side, the true number of migrants who died at the border may never be counted.

People's marches to cross the border illegally at night reached the most inaccessible places, including swamps.

Several people were rescued by border guards, but other people could have drowned there.

Stage 4. Dissertation Emil Chechka

On December 16, 2021, a 25-year-old Pole, a soldier of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division

Emil Chechka

crossed the Polish-Belarusian border and sought asylum in Belarus.

Polish sources reported that the man had problems with the law at home, he took drugs and alcohol, beat his mother and threatened to kill her.

The Polish soldier himself claimed that he simply did not agree with the policy of the Polish authorities regarding migrants.

A number of Chechka's acquaintances did not understand how he got into the army.

Polish deserter soldier Emil Cecka

In an interview with Belarusian state media, the first of which he gave soon, the defector said about the alleged 240 migrants and volunteers killed at the border, and that he was personally involved in ten murders.

At the same time, Cecko noted that he had filed an application against Poland to the Hague tribunal and was "ready to be punished for his actions."

This information has not been confirmed.

On December 21,

Elizabeth Trossel

, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the organization had no information about "mass burials of migrants" on the Polish-Belarusian border.

On the same day, the Bialystok prosecutor's office issued an arrest warrant for the deserter.

The version that Emil could have been recruited by the Belarusian special services some time before crossing the border was being considered.

The progress of the investigation was no longer publicly reported in the prosecutor's office.

Stage 5. Attenuation of tension, arrests of carriers

All the time that migrants crossed the border of Lithuania, Poland and Latvia illegally, they were picked up for money by various carriers included in the "gray" schemes and delivered to the following addresses, mainly to Germany.

As of January 1, 2022, the authorities of this country recorded 11.2 thousand migrants who entered its territory in transit through Belarus.

At the end of January, another 1,500 migrants were in Belarus, compared to 700 in February.

Attempts to break through the border happened almost daily, but not so massive, and Polish border guards found it easier to deal with threats.

One of the Belarusians, who was transporting migrants to Poland, was deported and banned from entering the country for 5 years.

On February 18, Polish security forces detained a car with another Belarusian at the wheel, the man faces up to 8 years in prison for aiding in illegal border crossing.

Among the illegal carriers were also citizens of Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, Lithuania and other countries.

Many, without EU citizenship, had residence permits there.

Stage 6. Death of the deserter, elimination of the temporary camp in the logistics center

The pro-government activist of the Communist Party of Belarus

Dmitry Belyakov

said that Chechka received a certificate of registration of the application for refugee status and additional protection for six months.

It was in the video with Belyakov that Chechka last appeared in the video, on March 16.

The next day the Pole was found hanged at his place of residence in Minsk.

The circumstances of the death are unknown.

On March 22, the center for migrants in Bruzgi stopped working.

On the night of the same day, another 98 migrants left the territory of Belarus, they flew back to their countries of residence.

The Belarusian State Border Committee has once again accused the European Union of problems with migrants.

Several hundred migrants still remain in Belarus, but it is likely that they will also be sent home by evacuation flights.

Migrant crisis - 2021. The main thing

  • In July 2021, Alexander Lukashenko stated that due to sanctions, Belarus will no longer restrain illegal migration to the European Union.

    First of all, large flows of migrants went to Lithuania, as of September - more than 4.2 thousand people from Asia and Africa.

    Then Latvia and Poland felt tensions on their borders.

  • Responding to the crisis, Lithuania and Poland began to build a wall on the border with Belarus.

  • In the summer of 2021, the governments of Lithuania, followed by Latvia and Poland, tightened the law on illegal crossing of the state border, and sent reinforcements from military units to the border areas with Belarus.

    Lukashenko has been accused of facilitating illegal migration to the European Union.

  • In Lithuania, migrants have repeatedly rioted and fled in refugee camps.

  • In September, Polish authorities began detaining and deporting people who help migrants cross the border illegally.

    Among them are both citizens of Poland and citizens of Belarus and Asia, including some persons with a residence permit in the European Union.

  • The Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki expressed confidence that the scenario of "hybrid aggression" against the European Union was developed by Minsk not on its own, but in close cooperation with Moscow.

  • On September 27, a spokesman for Poland's special services coordinator, Stanislaw Zaryn, said that 20% of detained migrants had ties to Russia, as evidenced by the evidence found.

    Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Mariusz Kaminski said that Belarusian border guards give migrants psychotropic drugs, including to children.

  • On September 30, the PACE strongly condemned the practice of returning migrants "to a third country where they cannot be guaranteed international protection," and reminded Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of the ban on the collective expulsion of foreigners.

  • On October 8, Warsaw stated that it interpreted the behavior of the Belarusian side as "aggressive actions against Poland."

    A number of video evidences have appeared that Belarusian border guards not only do not stop migrants, but also actively help them to cross the Polish border illegally.

  • At least 9 people have died on the borders of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania since the beginning of the migration crisis.

  • On the morning of November 8, a large convoy of several hundred migrants was spotted at the Belarusian border, escorted by armed security forces to barbed wire on the border with Poland, trying to cross the border.

    According to various estimates, their number was from 2 to 4 thousand people.

    Many received visas at the Belarusian diplomatic mission in Ankara, Turkish airlines are involved in transferring migrants to Belarus.

  • In the following days, the migrants, with the assistance of Belarusian security forces, set up camp on the border.

    Kurd from Iraq Rebaz Najm Hama Saeed told Svaboda that Belarusian police are helping to cut down trees for bonfires on Belarusian territory.

    Some groups managed to break into Polish territory, but the military detained all violators.

  • On November 10, MEP Radoslaw Sikorski said the border crisis was initiated with Moscow's support, and Lukashenko should be declared a terrorist and extradited to the International Tribunal.

    A number of other European politicians have also expressed confidence that Putin, with Lukashenko's help, is shaking Europe, and there have been calls for the EU to be proactive rather than wait.

  • On November 11, Russian Tu-22M3 bombers began patrolling the airspace of Belarus.

    They belong to the Russian Air Force.

  • On November 11, the German Federal Police said that in the first days of November alone, more than a thousand migrants had entered the country, using Belarus as a transit country.

  • Since August, Polish border guards have stopped more than 33,000 attempts to cross the border illegally by Belarus, up from 88 last year.

  • On November 15, more than 3,000 migrants gathered at the Belarusian border crossing Bruzgi in front of the Polish border line, fortified by temporary barriers and a line of Polish troops.

  • According to Lukashenka's spokeswoman Natalia Eismant, there are about 7,000 migrants in Belarus hoping to get to Germany.

  • On November 22, Berlin refused to receive about 2,000 people from the Middle East who arrived in Belarus after the Lukashenko regime organized a migrant crisis.

  • On November 25, migrants staged a protest at the border, saying they did not want to return to their countries.

  • About 4.5 thousand migrants left Belarus on more than ten evacuation flights to Iraq and Syria in November-December.

  • At the beginning of 2022 the terms of construction of fences on the border with Belarus became known.

    Poland noted that the fence will be completed by the end of June, and Lithuania by the fall.