Despair at Belarus-Poland border: Chechen migrants spend nights under open sky

Our reporter has visited a makeshift refugee camp near the Brest checkpoint at the Belarusian-Polish border.

On Monday there were about 200 people demanding permission to enter Poland. On Tuesday morning our crew saw about 80 persons here, mainly women and children. Most of them are residents of Chechnya who have been trying to get to Poland for months.

They stress that about 500 persons want to seek asylum in Poland. According to Belarusian border guards, up to 2,000 people from the North Caucasus may be in the vicinity of Brest.

The migrants begrudgingly explain why they left their own land. One of the women told Belsat that after one of them was interviewed by television journalists in Chechnya, unidentified persons burned her house. Many Chechens are just hiding their faces from the camera.

They do not have either money or food and have to sleep under the open sky, a woman told Belsat TV reporter Ales Lyauchuk. Their children are ill and hungry, she says.

Each of them has repeatedly attempted to cross the Belarusian-Polish border. However, Polish border guards send them back, only a few managed to apply for asylum in Poland. They showed  their passports with dozens of stamps indicating the number of attempts to get into the European Union.