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Belarus "weaponises" migrants, longtermism is BS and why we’re running out of translators | Borderline Brief #3

A weekly curation for global citizens. This week: Germany, Afghanistan, United States, Australia, Barbados, Belarus, Poland, European Union, the New York Times, Netflix, veterans and translators.

Isabelle Roughol
Isabelle Roughol

⏱ This is a 2-minute read.


Identity & belonging

Immigration & asylum

  • 🇦🇫 Afghanistan is facing “the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth.” Nobody can act surprised when they desperately reach for Europe. Perspective.
“It is as bad as you possibly can imagine.”
- David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme

Go deeper

“How many more crises must hit before we see an international system that stops dividing us and starts to lift us up?”
- Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados

Long Story Short: Europe’s "hybrid war" with Belarus

  • Belarus is accused of “weaponising” migrants against the EU, as payback for the block’s sanctions against the dictatorial Lukashenko regime. The crisis escalated Monday when Belarus marched hundreds of migrants to its border with Poland, a point of entry to the European Union.
  • Belarus has for weeks been facilitating visas and flights to Minsk for mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to eventually pass into Germany.
  • The EU is outraged and has temporarily forgotten it’s mad at Poland. NATO is angry too. Lithuania started building a razor wire-topped fence at its own border with Belarus. Lukashenko is earning himself and his mates more sanctions.
  • Caught in this “hybrid war” as the EU calls it are a few thousand people, including children, without housing, food or medical care, stuck in Europe’s oldest forest in sub-zero temperatures. At least eight are known to have died of exposure.
  • For context: 472,395 people applied for asylum in the EU27 in 2020, down 32% from 2019 and a far cry from the peak in 2015. This year is on track so far to be about similar. Refugee resettlement was down 60% in 2020 and the number of people turned away at EU borders divided by five. If there is a crisis, it is not in the numbers.


Isabelle Roughol Twitter

Journalist, podcaster, media consultant. Telling stories & building better newsrooms. Writes The Lede. Ex- LinkedIn News, Le Figaro, The Cambodia Daily. 🎓 Mizzou '08, Birkbeck '25.