Protecting Ukraine-Belarus border: Kyiv launches Operation Polissia

Protecting Ukraine-Belarus border: Kyiv launches Operation Polissia

Ukrainian security agencies have launched a joint special border operation Polissia on the border with the Republic of Belarus.

That’s according to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.

The special operation is coordinated by border guards and conducted jointly with the National Guard, the police, the Armed Forces, and other reserves involved.

The measures are aimed at increasing the level of protection and defense of the Ukrainian border in order to prevent a migration crisis and combat illegal transborder activity.

Read also: Intensity of Russian troops’ movement on Ukraine border “constantly changing” – Ukraine’s defense ministry

According to Volodymyr Nikiforenko, First Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service, the threat of a migration crisis and the likelihood of migrant flows being redirected to Ukraine persist at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.

“In order to further respond to the possible complications, a joint special border operation has been agreed upon together with other state bodies and a corresponding plan has been worked out. Last night, the operation officially kicked off," Nikiforenko said.

The first deputy head of the State Border Guard Service added that the mission’s main task is to prevent illegal migrants from penetrating the state border, and to this end, all forces involved are coordinating joint action.

Interdepartmental coordination headquarters have been set up at the central and regional levels, as well as coordination groups at the tactical (district) level.

The agency will deploy more forces to patrol the border zone, including in the areas where the risk assessment suggests migrants are more likely to try to cross in.

Read also: Ukrainian, UK, U.S. officials meet to share intel on Russian buildup - Reznikov

Border guards are set to employ aerial reconnaissance, including with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as technical surveillance equipment to patrol and monitor the areas.

In addition, it is planned to strengthen the regime along the Ukrainian-Belarusian section of the state border. Within the controlled border areas, checkpoints will be set up on highways, while the main roads leading to the border will be thoroughly patrolled, bus and railway stations will be regularly inspected, and a range of preventive measures will be undertaken in border settlements.

As reported, the Alexander Lukashenko regime in Belarus contributed to fomenting a migration crisis at the border with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia after the EU imposed sanctions on Minsk officials.

Read also: Belarus border crisis: Kuleba responds to German MP’s idea that Ukraine host migrants

Migrants from Iraq, Syria, and a number of African countries had been arriving en masse in Belarus before the country's security officials helped the groups get to the border with the EU.

Many experts and officials, including the chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, believe the ongoing crisis is part of Moscow's wider-scale efforts to destabilize the region, while Minsk is merely acting in the Kremlin’s interests.

Photo: State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

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