Weaponisation of refugees in Putin’s long-standing hybrid war against the West


This report from UK think tank the Henry Jackson Society looks at the creation of an artificial crisis on the Belarusian border with Poland and Lithuania.

This report analyses the unprecedented creation of an artificial crisis on the Belarusian border with Poland and Lithuania, both NATO and EU members, through the weaponisation of migrants in a joint operation by Belarus and Russia. With self-declared Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko firmly in the Russian president’s pocket, and Belarus and Russia integrating into a new union, the report points to the Kremlin’s responsibility for the migrant crisis as another example of Russia’s hybrid war against the West. The report discusses the already perilous state of relations between the West and Belarus since the brutal crushing of protests against fraud in the 2020 elections; the air piracy by Belarus when it forced down a Ryanair jet flying between Greece and Lithuania in order to detain an opposition journalist; and its imprisonment of 1000 people. It also describes how the Lukashenka regime has undertaken large-scale human trafficking through the weaponisation of migrants and commends the UK Government for leading the development of security partnerships with the three Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine.

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