Russia is further unwinding migration crisis in EU

● After destroying military infrastructure, Russia is targeting civilian objects. The Kremlin’s objective is to sow panic among the civilian population and deepen the already unfolding migration crisis in Ukraine.

● The refugee flow intensified not after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, but after they launched massive, deliberate missile attacks and air strikes on residential neighborhoods across Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages. As the Russians fail to prevail in direct military confrontation with the Ukrainian forces, they are pursuing barbaric attacks on civilians.

● Moscow runs psychological influence operations and twisted media campaigns in the EU to discredit Ukrainian refugees in the eyes of the European community. To this end, Moscow exploits its assets from among Ukrainian passport holders, who are instructed to act demonstratively hostile to their host country.

● There are many examples of such assets inciting Ukrainian migrants to protest action over the alleged hostility towards Ukrainians on the part of the local population, “unacceptable” living conditions, and the like.

● Moscow is launching large-scale missile attacks and air strikes on the cities in Western, Northern and Central Ukraine in order to provoke an even stronger migration wave to the EU and Moldova. For example, military and civilian facilities in Lutsk, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Korosten, and other cities have been destroyed just over the past few days.

● Russian and Belarusian intelligence agencies are gradually transferring illegal migrants from the Middle East to the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. These are the same groups that Belarus has already used once, back in 2021, under Moscow’s direct supervision, in masterminding a humanitarian crisis on the EU’s eastern border. Their latest efforts are aimed at intensifying migration crisis in Ukraine and distracting Ukrainian border guards from repelling the potential invasion by Belarusian troops.

● The already announced involvement in the war against Ukraine of mercenaries from the Middle East could also be used by the Kremlin to escalate tensions on the EU’s eastern borders through a flow of illegal migrants.

● According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 1.9 million people have already become internally displaced and more than 2.3 million have crossed out of Ukraine westwards. The main flow of migrants goes to Poland (more than 1.2 million), Hungary (more than 191,000), Slovakia (140,000), Romania (125,000), and Moldova (82,000).

● Russian psy-ops forces will never succeed in sowing a split between Ukrainians and the nations that are part of the EU. At such a difficult time for Ukraine, members of the bloc provide all possible assistance to Ukrainian temporary migrants.