The migrant influx began after Western countries introduced sanctions on Lukashenko’s government over the country’s disputed August 2020 presidential election and a crackdown on the opposition.
The Polish and Lithuanian governments have introduced states of emergency on one-kilometer-wide (more than a half-mile-wide) strips along their border with Belarus that deny entry to anyone except border guards, the military and security services. They also are building razor wire fences along their border with Belarus.
At least five migrants have died trying to cross into Poland and Lithuania from Belarus through an area of thick woods and bogs.
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