Poland has released footage of Belarusian forces targeting border guards with lasers and strobe lights, and accused them of trying to destroy anti-migrant fencing and arming migrants with tear gas.
“Belarusian soldiers tried to destroy a Polish border fence last night,” the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, alleged in a statement shared to social media.
“Our servicemen were blinded by laser beams and strobe lights as well as tear gas were used [sic] against [the] Polish Border Guard,” the statement added.
The Chancellery shared a video published by the Border Guard (Straż Graniczna) showing individuals seemingly on the Belarusian side of the frontier in military fatigues targeting Polish personnel with green lasers and flashing strobes after sunset.
“[The Belarusians] were tearing out fence posts and tearing up concertina [wire] with a service vehicle,” the Guard said of the incident.
“Nearby, a group of about 100 migrants waited for the possibility of illegal border crossing,” they added, further alleging that the Belarusians “equipped [migrants] with tear gas, which was used towards the Polish services.”
Belarus and its leader, Alexander Lukashenko, are accused of effectively trafficking migrants from the Middle East to Minsk on passenger jets and then driving them to the borders of EU member-states Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia as part of a “hybrid attack” on the bloc in retaliation for sanctions and the sheltering of Belarusian dissidents.
Belarusian soldiers tried to destroy a Polish border fence last night.
Our servicemen were blinded by laser beams and strobe light as well as tear gas were used against Polish Border Guard. Another attempt to cross the Polish-Belarusian border illegally was prevented. https://t.co/3GERjLlgVO
— Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland (@PremierRP_en) November 13, 2021
There are well over 10,000 deployed Border Guards, police officers, and soldiers including activated reserved on the forested frontier between Poland and Belarus at this point, with a small detachment of British military engineers now deployed to support the former’s border fortification efforts — and a large number of Russian paratroopers deployed to the latter, supposedly for readiness drills.
The Polish interior ministry has shared footage which it says shows “More and more armed functionaries of the Belarusian services are arriving in the Kuźnica region”, and has accused its neighbour of “[moving] group[s] of women and children… to the [border] fence, only so that the Belarusian services could prepare propaganda material”.
“Belarus seeks to escalate tensions on border with Poland. Last night, Belarusian forces used a vehicle to tear down the barbed-wire border fence,” said Stanisław Żaryn, Director of the National Security Department at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, of last night’s incidents.
“Our patrols were blinded by strobe lights and laser beams, tear gas was used by migrants against [Polish] forces,” he added.
The British government, as a NATO ally of Poland, has expressed concern that the artificially-engineered migrant crisis could be a gateway to “very, very, very, very dangerous territory”.
Dzisiaj w nocy zanotowaliśmy użycie przez służby Białorusi lasera koloru zielonego. Zakładamy, że były to próby oślepienia naszych funkcjonariuszy i żołnierzy patrolujących granicę. pic.twitter.com/uwCep4h369
— Straż Graniczna (@Straz_Graniczna) November 12, 2021