Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan migrants mingle with Ukrainian refugee flows trying to enter the EU

Refugees fleeing conflict in neighboring Ukraine arrive to Przemysl, Poland, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By Karolina Klaskova
3 Min Read

The flow of refugees from Ukraine is not decreasing, only changing its character. Thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, or Kurdish migrants who previously entered Belarus to enter Europe last year are now mingling with the Ukrainian refugee flows headed into Poland, Hungary and Czechia.

Thousands of Iraqi refugees, Syrians, Kurds, or Africans, almost exclusively men, are described trying to enter Poland, according to French newspaper Progress. In addition, many of them are attempting to pass themselves off as international students in Ukraine in an attempt to enter Poland and other nations, reports the French paper.

Many of them have been pushed back since they have no documentation proving their connection with Ukraine, but many thousands have already made it into the EU.

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The Progress reporter describes how these migrants are not welcome in Ukraine, which intends to get rid of them as soon as possible, and claims they are even less welcome in Poland, where they have previously been deported after attempting to enter from Belarus. The Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, attempted to use them as a part of his hybrid warfare approach to flooding the EU with migrants last year.

These thousands of migrants were transported to Belarus and then transferred to Lithuanian and Polish borders. Most were pushed back, but with the war in Ukraine in full swing, they are back on the road. Putin’s ally Lukashenko opened the floodgate and kicked them out in the back to get rid of this cumbersome migrant population and, also arguably, add chaos to the situation on the borders.

They have walked day and night through the Ukrainian countryside, wearing out the soles of their poorly-made counterfeit sport shoes.

Poland alone says it is expecting 1 million refugees to cross the border, and many millions more may cross at different points into other nations. Migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries will undoubtedly see the moment as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use Ukraine as a gateway into Europe. Many countries with strict immigration policies, such as Hungary, have indicated that they will open the border to all refugees from Ukraine, including those from third countries.

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