With the migrant crisis in Belarus still unsolved, Ukrainian border guards held a joint exercise near the border town of Ovruch to simulate what they would do if groups of asylum seekers attempted to enter Ukraine. Given that Ukraine is not a member of the EU, it’s unclear why Kiev is concerned.
The Border Guard, along with members of the National Guard and National Police, conducted the drill on Thursday in accordance with the country’s “Stranger in the Village” warning system, which urges local inhabitants to notify authorities if they see an unknown individual who does not speak Ukrainian. However, a substantial percentage of Ukrainians do not speak the language fluently and instead speak Russian.
Thousands of Middle Eastern refugees are stuck in Belarus near the Polish border, prompting the drill. Many of them travelled to Poland in the hopes of gaining entry to the EU, but Polish border guards have refused to let anyone in and have forcibly pushed them back. Kiev is now concerned that asylum seekers may attempt to enter Ukraine.
All districts bordering Belarus will practice dealing with a hypothetical inflow of illegal immigrants, according to Igor Klymenko, the chief of the National Police.