The Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan presented the activities behind the scenes of operation “Floodgate” on his blog waidelotte.org. He described how the Belarusian services help illegal migrants to enter European Union territory.
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For several days, a group of migrants have been camping in Belarus near the border with Poland. From the very beginning, false reports have been circulating in the Polish, Belarusian and Russian media about Poland “pushing” migrants out of “no-man’s land” (despite the fact no such land exists). These theses coincide with the disinformation spread by Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime and the Kremlin that supports it.
Tadeusz Giczan, former editor-in-chief of the “Nexta” channel, described in detail why it was Belarus that became the “gateway for mass illegal migration” to the EU.
In an article devoted to the operation “Floodgate”, the journalist pointed out that when a Ryanair plane with Raman Pratasevich on board was hijacked in Minsk and the European Union began to prepare wide-ranging sanctions, Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced that he would “flood Europe with illegal migrants.”
As Mr Giczan wrote, the Belarusian regime had already taken care of the appropriate infrastructure by multiplying air connections with Iraq and bringing more carriers from the Middle East to the airport in Minsk. Cooperation with Iraqi travel agencies, selling trips to Belarus for between USD 600 - 1000 (EUR 511-852), has also been tightened.
According to the journalist, after arrival Iraqis get Belarusian visas and head to the border with Poland or Lithuania immediately or after a few days.
Mr Giczan also drew attention to the existence of instructional videos found on online forums and groups, describing in detail how to get from Belarus to the EU.
“When crossing the border, migrants have comprehensive support from the Belarusian services. Belarusian border guards say [anonymously, of course] that they received an oral order to turn a blind eye to illegal migrants... Now, not ordinary border guards, but OSAM - the most elite unit in the country, where Lukashenka’s eldest sons served at one time, are protecting and patrolling the border. OSAM directs migrants where to go etc.,” the journalist stressed.
He also pointed out that operation “Floodgate” was developed a decade ago by the head of the KGB and the commander of the OSAM, who were already planning to transfer refugees across the Belarusian border to the EU. As he emphasised, then it was only about Belarus forcing tens of millions of euros from Brussels to stop immigrants but now the scale of the operation has been increased, and the order to help immigrants to storm the eastern border of the European Union came from the very top of the Belarusian regime.
“As long as the Bealrusian borders with Poland and Latvia remain leaky, it can be expected that operation “Floodgate” will continue. And looking at what is happening in Poland at the moment, it cannot be ruled out that the next, this time planned attack, will be aimed at Poland,” Mr Giczan warned.
In early August, the Lithuanian authorities announced that they would no longer accept immigrants, but would return them at the border. Similar decisions were made by the government in Warsaw, and the propaganda campaign in the Belarusian media targeted the border services, accusing them of torturing refugees and calling them “Nazis.” This narrative was also adopted by many Polish opposition politicians and the media favouring them.