The migrants trying to illegally cross the border with Belarus are becoming increasingly aggressive, with migrants hurling stones at Polish border guards, and in one instance, even being shot at.
According to Michał Bura, an officer of the Polish Border Guard, the situation is tense because the migrants’ identity cannot be verified. He stated that when apprehending an illegal migrant, the border guards may be dealing with someone who is dangerous to both them and Poland. He added that the migrants have gone well beyond verbal aggression and are now even hurling explosive devices at the border guards.
Bura told Polish news portal I.pl that he is concerned with the growing aggression he sees, which has been increasing by the day.
The migrants are often masked, which means Poland cannot identify them and ascertain whether they are actually migrants or perhaps Belarusian security services. The guards have often noticed how migrant groups are sent to the border crossing and then one or two members of the group turn back into Belarusian territory after helping to facilitate the crossing.
“In such a case, one can suspect that this is not an illegal migrant, but someone who is inspiring and encouraging these groups,” says the officer of the Polish Border Guard.
He said he is convinced that without the border barrier, the situation would be grim. Thanks to the barrier and electronic tracking system, the guards do not have to check for tracks along the border, and they can also drive right alongside it.
The barrier also buys the border guards time to react. Migrants cannot just walk through the wall; they have to try to climb over it. That takes time, and electronic alerts soon lead guards to intervene at the exact spot migrants are trying to cross. The wall also makes border guards more secure by providing them with a shield.
Bura argues that if it wasn’t for the wall, they would need twice as many guards, and they “would be forced to stand in a row with shields at the border.” This would mean that the whole operation would be far more expensive and dangerous for the men and women serving in the force.