First, it was Poland. Putin’s client regime in Belarus began sending massive numbers of Iraqis into Poland.
Migrants who reached Minsk were put up in at least three government-owned hotels, according to Latvia’s defense minister, Artis Pabriks, and Franak Viacorka, a senior adviser to a Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
Mr. Pabriks said that Belarusian intelligence agents had been involved in transferring migrants to the borders, and that military buses were used.
Bayar Awat, an Iraqi Kurd stranded on the Belarusian side of the Polish border, said that Belarusian guards had helped his group reach the border by pointing out a route that bypassed the official border crossing and emerged near a gap cut in the border fence.
“The Belarus police guided us to the forest, then pointed directions to lead us inside the forest to keep us away from the official border crossing,” he said.
On Thursday, a Belarusian soldier was overheard on the phone ordering an Iraqi Kurd to direct a group of 400 to 500 migrants from the Lithuanian border toward the Polish border.
Now, Russia is doing this even more directly with Finland.
Finland has accused Russia of handing out bicycles and foot-scooters to migrants to help them cross the border as part of a plan to destabilise Europe.
Antti Häkkänen, the Finnish defence minister, also accused the Kremlin of dipping into its “playbook” on hybrid war by encouraging migrants to enter the country without the correct documents.
Finnish officials said that the timing of the migrant surge from Russia was not a coincidence. Finland joined Nato this year, angering the Kremlin, and will host its first major naval exercise as a member of the Western military alliance on Monday.
Finnish media reported that 300 migrants, mainly young men from Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Somalia, had crossed into Finland from Russia this week, up from near zero in a normal week.
Some people keep pushing the “Putin is defending Christianity” shtick. Sending Muslims to invade a Christian country is the opposite of defending Christianity.
Putin has done this to Poland, Finland and now Estonia.
Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets said on Thursday Russia extended a provocative measure, originally aimed at Finland, to Estonia by “deliberately” allowing asylum seekers without visas or residence permits to reach a crossing point on its shared border, according to news outlet Delfi.
Läänemets also said that Estonia has so far returned every person trying to cross the border without documents or permission, reinforced its preparedness and it was in close communication with Finland and other neighboring countries.
The larger takeaway is that Islamic migration is a weapon of war. It’s been used that way by Turkey and Russia. We should start treating it the same way.
The Kremlin accused Finland of taking a path of “destroying bilateral relations” over Finland’s decision to close some border crossings with Russia, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Nov. 17.
“Finland has chosen the path of confrontation with Russia. From the Kremlin’s point of view, this is a big mistake,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
“How dare you try to protect yourselves from our attack on you.” Sounds familiar.