Migrants in Peril, and Raw Emotions, in a Volatile European Border Standoff

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The Iraqi embassy in Moscow announced on Thursday that it would organize the evacuation of stranded citizens in Belarus who want to return home – an offer that is unlikely to be accepted by many of those who risked their lives and spent thousands of dollars trying to escape. country.

Border crossings for cars and pedestrians have been closed, but freight trains carrying Belarusian goods, including their main export, potash fertilizers, continue to cross Europe, prompting demands from some to stop crossing the border.

“We are warning Europe, but they are threatening to close the border,” Lukashenka said, according to the Belarusian State News Agency. “What if we turn off the supply of natural gas there? I would advise the Polish leadership, Lithuanians and other mindless people to think before speaking. “

As the soldiers closed the border area from the media and humanitarian workers, the death of a 14-year-old Kurdish boy could not be confirmed. The boy’s body, according to OKO.press reportThe Polish website was taken over by the Belarusian special services overnight.

The crisis threatened to spread to countries far beyond Eastern Europe, including Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, whose airlines have been accused of playing into Lukashenko’s hands by sending migrants to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Earlier this week, the European Union said it was considering blacklisting “third country airlines involved in human trafficking.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday reacted angrily to accusations that Turkish Airlines, operating flights to Minsk, aggravated the crisis. The ministry said in a statement that Turkey was not involved in the crisis and, having hosted millions of refugees from Syria, “is one of the countries that best understands the challenges that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia will face. full support of their allies. “

Gathering in a sea of ​​red and white Polish flags at a roundabout in Warsaw named after Roman Dmowski, a pre-World War II nationalist leader who critics called anti-Semites, right-wing protesters began their march by lighting red flares and singing the National Anthem. A small group of young people trampled on a rainbow flag outside the nearest metro station, near stalls of books denying the Holocaust and glorifying European fascist leaders such as Frederico Franco of Spain.

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