MINSK, 19 November (BelTA) - During the recent developments at the Bruzgi border checkpoint, Poland violated the state border and displayed the behavior towards refugees comparable to the Nazi methods, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in an interview with the BBC, BelTA has learned.
Cruelty displayed by the Polish security forces against refugees, including pregnant women and children, the use water cannons containing chemical substances in the cold, flash grenades and gas with toxic substances… All these and many other facts were reliably recorded and became public. After a week of living in the forest and sleepless nights in the cold, the people tried to get through to the Polish authorities in a moment of desperation. But the BBC's Steven Rosenberg noticed only "stones and sticks" in the hands of the refugees. One of his questions was about it.
“You singled one episode out of context. Now let's recount how it happened. The vast majority of the 2,100 people peacefully asked the Poles to transit their country to reach Germany. A Polish officer came up and began to explain them (thank God, we filmed it) that they need to go to the checkpoint and submit applications, and that the Polish authorities would consider them and so on. In other words, he actually sent them to that border checkpoint. They all left [the camp in the forest near the border] and rushed there," the president said.
At that point, Aleksandr Lukashenko continued, there were no stones. The refugees knelt before the Polish officers. "They got this understanding that the Polish guards would let them across and that they would take their applications. They knelt down, apologized for all the trouble, and asked to be let through. But they were not. That's where it all that started. The Poles used the water cannons, in violation of all rules and regulations. What have we learned today? We have established that they used pesticides and herbicides. These are the substances you use to kill cockroaches and weeds. Please, take a look at a wider picture. We can prove this because we have evidence,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the fact that the Poles actually violated the state border of Belarus by using special means on its territory. “Do you know that you can't even point your weapons towards the neighboring territory? Why did they douse water with toxic chemicals 100 meters into our territory?! It is a violation of the state border. I am telling you that as a former border guard. I was stationed at that border. They've at least violated the state border. They threw flash grenades into our territory,” said the president.
“Why aren't you telling your viewers about the humanitarian aid that my people have been providing to these refugees?” the head of state asked a rhetorical question.
Aleksandr Lukashenko revealed some new shocking details about the actions of Polish law enforcers against the refugees: “They acted like fascists. As people were sleeping under the open sky, they used flashlights, sirens, and so on. They flew a helicopter. The investigators reported that they used tear gas, water, toxic chemicals, and that helicopters flying at a low altitude. What for? So that the helicopter's propeller would send those toxic chemicals deeper into our territory, to reach children.
“Why didn't the BBC report that Polish helicopters were flying over the border?” the head of state asked.