Fortress EU is beating Belarus, with refugees as pawns in cruel game

Analysis: Lukashenko’s strategy seems to have backfired, with a united European Union placing sanctions against his regime

There was chaos at the border. Thousands of Middle Eastern refugees and migrants had massed at the crossing point to the European Union, hoping for a better life. Many had been taken to the barbed-wire fence on state-funded buses, after the authoritarian leader made good on years-long threats “to open the gates to Europe”. But when people arrived, the hope of a better life collided with police teargas and stun grenades.

This was not a scene from the Polish-Belarus border this week, but Greece’s land border with Turkey less than two years ago.

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