In the border areas of eastern Poland, mysterious things are happening, and Deputy Mayor Conrad Sikora does not like it.
The ever-increasing number of military trucks in his city has begun to cover his license plates 24 hours a day. The two-kilometer-wide strip on the border with Belarus is off-limits to unauthorized persons.
It’s almost like they want to hide something, says Sikora, who takes us through the almost empty streets in the direction of the fire station in Michello.
What he wants to show is the humanitarian mood of the village, amidst the many fears that refugees could be catastrophic.
– This is our inventory. Here we get relief supplies from all over Poland. There are new loads every day, the deputy mayor says proudly.
Michelo has become a minor sensation in Poland since local authorities launched a fundraising campaign to help migrants on the border.
These are people who don’t want the country people to know.
In their thousands, they sit and wait for the opportunity to pass through the barbed wire fence set up by Polish soldiers.
If they are caught, they will be expelled directly under the new law passed by the Polish parliament.
– Belarusian soldiers are waiting there armed and demanding that they return to Poland. Sikora said it would be like a ping pong match between Poland and Belarus.
He believes the government in Warsaw should build refugee camps instead of opening its eyes to what is happening now and believing the problem will disappear automatically. For now, the harsh winter will soon begin in the Polish jungles.
– It will end in tragedy. He tells TV2 that if no one does anything soon, there will be hundreds of corpses in the woods here when spring comes.
On Wednesday, the TV2 crew tried to cross the border to observe the situation with their own eyes. About two kilometers away, we were stopped by heavily armed police without any explanation.
Maria Slonkievich, a spokeswoman for the Border Group, a group of volunteers who want to help immigrants, says the so-called security zone is actually set up without witnesses to the atrocities taking place there.
– This can certainly be called a humanitarian crisis. We help workers believe that bodies will start to accumulate if we are not allowed into the restricted zone soon, Slonkievich tells TV2.
But despite the massive security obligation, some are lurking in Poland and Germany. The “Border Group” is now focusing on these people.
Through their network, immigrants were told how to contact Polish volunteers, and they would usually make noise at night when there was no food, water or medicine.
From night to Thursday, the alarm sounded again. A group of 30 Iraqis, including 16 children and a heavily pregnant woman, sat in the swamp wet, tired and hungry and needed help.
– The whole operation lasted six hours. This is the heaviest of our interventions. We have never seen anything like this in our working life, The doctors who came to rescue them write on Facebook.
Many thousands will enter
Poland and the Baltic states Accuses Belarus’ dictator Alexander Lukashenko launched a refugee crisis in May in retaliation for EU sanctions against the country.
After first arriving by plane from the Middle East, the Belarusian soldiers almost gathered the immigrants to the border and told them how to get to the neighboring countries.
If the immigrants are stopped and deported, the Belarusians demand that they try again.
– Since we do not enter the border area, we can only estimate how many people are involved. But we think there are several hundred on the Poland side and many thousands on the Belarusian side of the border, says Slonkievich on the border group.
Poland’s refugee policy is now being criticized domestically and by EU politicians. At the same time, neighboring countries, especially Germany, are aware that a new wave of refugees, as we saw in 2015, may soon arrive and that the poles have so far been able to keep the situation under control.
In Germany, the number of asylum seekers has increased by 35 percent compared to last year, and German authorities are now sending troops to Poland to assist in border security.
TV2 tried to contact the Polish Border Guard Service to get feedback on the situation in the border areas, but did not receive an answer to our inquiry.