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Borderline Disorder

Inside the migrant crisis at the Belarus-Poland frontier

A new report by RT's Konstantin Rozhkov takes the viewers to the Polish-Belorussian border, which has become the site for a makeshift refugee camp. Refugees from Syria and Iraq spend days stranded at the border with no food or medication, hoping to get into the EU.

According to Poland's defence ministry, security forces arrested around a hundred migrants as they tried to break across the border from Belarus. "A group of around 100 migrants were arrested by Polish services," the ministry said, blaming Belarus for encouraging "the migrants to throw stones at Polish soldiers to distract their attention".

The day before, hundreds of migrants on the Belarus side of the border with Poland were moved to a nearby warehouse. The space was prepared to accommodate the migrants, where they were offered food, water, medical aid, mattresses and pillows, according to Belarusian news agency Belta.

There have been talks about arranging planes from Iraq to take the refugees back home. Yet, it is still unclear how many of them will use the opportunity, even though the chance of getting into the EU are slim.

Unlike six years ago, Europe is unwilling to welcome people fleeing Syria and Iraq. Poland's actions at the border perfectly embody the new attitude. Several layers of barbed wire and rows of Polish border patrol officers successfully hinder any attempts of getting through.

Steve Alter, a spokesman for the German Interior Ministry, said Berlin was adamant about denying the migrants entrance to Germany. The "road to Belarus is a dead end for most people who want to go to Germany. There are no plans to approve taking people in," he said. In the meantime, Polish President Andrzej Duda said there is "no military threat" at the border from the police and border patrol, who are merely preserving order.

The migrants have been camping out at the border since November 8. Food and water supplies people brought with them ran out quickly. Belarusian volunteer food trucks were the only source of sustenance for them. Those who weren't fast or resourceful enough are left without rations, and very often, it is mothers with kids who lose out.

The refugees spend days and nights in the woods, often sick, malnourished, and frozen, but they refuse to return home. Many of the refugees Konstantin talks to are convinced any deprivation is worth a possible life in Germany with social security and health benefits. And when they tell their blood-curdling stories about what drove them away from their countries, it becomes clear they had to make an impossible choice.

Check out the full story for more details about the enormous migrant crisis on Europe's eastern frontier.



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