Trapped at Europe’s door: inside Belarus’s makeshift asylum dormitory

About 1,000 people, mostly Kurds, are waiting at a converted customs centre in Bruzgi for the chance to cross into EU

The giant warehouse towers over the Belarus countryside, less than a mile from the Polish border. In this 10,000 sq metre space patrolled by dozens of armed soldiers, 1,000 asylum seekers are crammed among countless industrial shelving units, held up on their way to Europe in the midst of a frigid winter.

“We’re trapped in this building,” says Alima Skandar, 40. “We don’t want to go back to Iraq and we can’t cross the border. Please, help us.”

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