Kremlin proxy Belarus uses migrants & energy against Europe

GRODNO REGION, BELARUS NOVEMBER 11, 2021: Migrants in a tent camp on the Belarusian-Polish border. The migrant crisis on the border of Belarus with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia escalated on November 8. Several thousand migrants have approached the Belarusian-Polish border and set up a tent camp there; some of them tried to cross the border by breaking a barbed wire fence. (Photo by Leonid ShcheglovTASS via Getty Images)


By Wall Street Journal

Nov. 11, 2021 Anno Domini

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is causing trouble in Europe again, first by massing troops on the border with Ukraine and now with a refugee crisis and energy threats through his ally in Belarus. Western Europe is upset but has itself to blame for being so vulnerable.

Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko stole last year’s presidential election and arrested opposition leaders. His increasingly violent crackdown prompted several rounds of European Union sanctions. He has retaliated by facilitating the movement of mostly Middle Eastern migrants to Europe’s borders.

Polish security officials have accused Belarusian forces of helping migrants break through border barriers. They say Belarusian units have pointed their rifles at Polish forces and simulated throwing grenades across the border. Hundreds of migrants tried to break through the Polish border this week, and thousands remain camped nearby. Some have died in the freezing conditions.

Now Mr. Lukashenko is playing the energy supply card. “We are heating Europe, they are still threatening us that they will close the border. And if we shut off natural gas there?” Mr. Lukashenko said Thursday, according to Reuters. “I would recommend that the Polish leadership, Lithuanians and other headless people think before speaking.”

This has the look of a Putin-inspired hybrid political campaign. The intention is to destabilize Poland and its neighbours while generating division within the E.U. So far the strategy has largely backfired. Warsaw’s spat with Brussels over rule-of-law issues is now on the back burner, and Brussels rightly has laid blame for the humanitarian crisis on Belarus. One senior EU official, reversing Brussels’ previous position, has said financing a border wall with Belarus is possible.

HAJNOWKA, POLAND—Items likely left behind by migrants, including a plane ticket showing travel from Iraq to Dubai and the packaging with cyrillic lettering of a smartphone sim card, lie among other items, including backpacks, clothing, and child diapers, as well documents showing that at least some of the members of the group were from Iraq and traveled to Minsk via Dubai, lie next to railroad tracks not far from the Belarus border on November 11, 2021 near Hajnowka, Poland.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Russia is controlling the marionette here. Mr. Lukashenko once played Russia and the West off each other, but since the popular protests against him he has thrown in completely with Moscow. Mr. Putin is taking advantage, flying Russian strategic bombers over Belarusian airspace this week. The Kremlin has called on Europe to pay Minsk to halt the migrants while blaming Western intervention in the Middle East for the chaos. This trolling is Mr. Putin’s specialty: Create or encourage a crisis, blame the victim, and demand concessions to resolve the issue.

The larger strategic context is that Mr. Putin and his crony believe they can act with relative impunity because Europe is desperate for Russian gas amid an energy crunch. European leaders—especially lame duck German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron—cling to the illusion that talking to Russia will improve ties. Mr. Putin told Ms. Merkel in a phone call this week that Europe would have to negotiate directly with Minsk—giving a pariah state the legitimacy it craves.

The best near-term approach is to impose harsher sanctions on items like potash exports and to pressure Middle Eastern countries to halt flights into Minsk. In the long run, Europe will have to lessen its dependence on Russian energy. Killing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be an important start, if anyone has the nerve.

6 comments

  1. British Army and the Bleiburg Massacre of 700000 Croats.
    According to British documents, located in the British Public Records Office at Kew Gardens in London, over 500,000 Croatian civilians and 200,000 soldiers were handed over to Tito’s Yugoslav Partisan Army in May of 1945. Based on eyewitness testimony and independent documentation, we can only estimate that the vast majority were slaughtered.
    May 15th 2014 marks 69 years since the days after WWII ended hundreds of thousands of innocent Croats (disarmed soldiers, civilians including women and children, fleeing communist Yugoslavia into promised freedom in the West found themselves slaughtered over the ensuing two months by Tito’s communists; the field at Bleiburg in Austria marks the central point where the slaughters began as the fleeing refugees were turned by the British forces into Yugoslavia, into the vicious and murderous hands of the communists, who dare to call themselves antifascists, under the pretence of forced repatriation.

    https://archive.org/details/bleiburg-british-8th-army-massacre-confessions

  2. Two men (believed to be Poles) then entered the room and grabbing one of the girls bent her backwards over the edge of a table and then proceeded to cut off her breasts before the eyes of the others. Her screams were accompanied by cheers and howls of approval from the Russians. The same fate awaited all the others each procedure becoming ever more cruel. More girls were brought in continually and out in the courtyard hundreds were clubbed to death, only the prettiest being led to the commissars office for torture, mutilation and death. A few days later when a German reserve tank unit from Cottbus temporarily recaptured the town they were utterly devastated by what they saw.
    Survivors told of what they had seen. Mothers had to witness their ten and twelve year old daughters being raped by up to twenty soldiers, the daughters in turn witnessing their mothers being raped, even their grandmothers. In most houses in the town nearly every room contained naked and dead women with the Swastika symbol crudely carved on their abdomens. No mercy was shown to the women and girls. It is estimated that about 2,000 girls that had been in the RAD and BDM (League of German Girls) camps in and around the town were raped and murdered in the first few days of the Soviet occupation.

    http://www.chuckmaultsby.net/id260.html

  3. Since Belarus is portrayed as run by an anti vaxxer. I imagine this is much more complex then it seems.

Leave a Reply