30 Mar Open Source Investigation Into Lukashenka’s Regime Weaponization of Illegal Migrants
In the beginning of summer 2021, Lithuania faced an increased flood of illegal migrants from the territory of Belarus. According to official statistics, even 4226 migrants crossed the border illegally and were detained in Lithuania in a relatively short period of time, from January to November 2021. Most of them were citizens of Iraq, others being from Congo, Syria, Cameroon and Afghanistan.
In comparison, during all twelve months of 2020 only 81 illegal migrants were detained in Lithuania. The recent crisis was strongly initiated by Belarusian authorities, using it as tool to antagonize the sanctions imposed by European Union last year. Foreign minister of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis indicated situation as “operation of hybrid warfare against Lithuania”, as he accused Minsk of weaponization of migrants. In the beginning of July, Lithuania declared state of emergency due to ongoing migration crisis on the border.