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WARSAW, Poland (ChurchMilitant.com) - Poland is defending its border with Belarus against thousands of migrants driven there by Alexander Lukashenko's Soviet-style government in Minsk.
Polish officials estimated as many as 4,000 Middle Eastern and African migrants are gathered in camps near the Polish border town of Kuźnica. Polish border guards, soldiers and police are attempting to stem the tide as migrants armed with wire cutters, axes and shovels are attempting to break through the protective wire fencing.
Polish Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta said the Polish border is "under attack," noting Poland's 250-mile border with Belarus is also the external border of NATO and the European Union (EU).
"It is an action organized directly by the Belarusian regime of Lukashenko. These people [the migrants] want to go to Germany, but they are trying to do it illegally," the Law and Justice Party (PiS) politician explained.
Lukashenko, who has been president of Belarus since 1994, is acting out his disdain of the sanctions the EU has imposed due to his violation of human rights.
Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned Tuesday the unprecedented wave of migrants trying to illegally enter Poland from Belarus threatens the security of the entire European Union.
"Sealing the Polish border is our national interest. But today the stability and security of the entire EU is at stake," Morawiecki said on Twitter.
Sealing the polish border is our national interest. But today the stability and security of the entire EU is at stake. This hybrid attack of Lukashenko's regime is aimed at all of us. We will not be intimidated and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and EU.— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) November 9, 2021
"This hybrid attack of Lukashenko's regime is aimed at all of us. We will not be intimidated and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and EU," the prime minister added.
The hybrid attack Morawiecki refers to involves the manipulated escalation of tension by Lukashenko that pushes larger groups of migrants fully controlled by the Belarusian army and security services to the Polish border.
There have been numerous reports of migrants attempting to make their way back to Belarus being met with the gunfire of Belarusian military.
The regime is also waging a disinformation campaign to win this battle. To sway public opinion both inside and outside Poland, Minsk is using emotional blackmail by highlighting the participation of children and women in migrant groups. The vast majority of migrants are young military-aged men with women and children in the minority.
Major General Roman Polko, former head of a premier special missions unit, commented on the disinformation campaign, insisting, "Alexander Lukashenko is seeking bloodshed. He needs it to burden the Polish side with pictures of the massacre he intends to commit, undermining our credibility on the international arena. This cannot be allowed."
The major general believes refugees should be given help and returned to their homes. He predicts that even if they are helped in Europe, they will become radicalized, pointing to cases in France as example.
A senior government official in Lithuania, which also borders Belarus, corroborated Polko's concern. The official warned that "since July 2021 at least two dozen irregular crossers of the EU eastern border were identified as members of radical terrorist groups," adding that EU institutions need to "start taking resilience issues more seriously" sooner rather than later.
So far the EU has merely given lip service to the Polish situation, accusing Belarus of gangster-style methods and threatening more sanctions.
A Catholic priest celebrates Mass for volunteer soldiers at the Polish border. Let's pray for the safety of Poland ����❤️ pic.twitter.com/L47y3dwtAj— Sachin Jose (@Sachinettiyil) November 9, 2021
But ordinary German citizens gathered at the Brandenburg Gate Tuesday to thank the Polish government for defending Germany and the European Union against the flood of illegal immigrants. They carried a banner saying in Polish and German: "We thank the Polish government for protection for Germany and Europe. Keep it up!"
Polish priests are making their way to the battle zone, offering Holy Mass for soldiers on-site at the Polish border and praying for protection and peace.