Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Two pro-Ukraine volunteers from Belarus seek political asylum in Poland


Two Belarus nationals who served as volunteers for the Anti-terrorist Operation in Ukraine have crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border illegally and asked Poland for political asylum, Radia Racija reports.

The Belarusians, codenamed Lyasnik and Doc when in Ukraine, reckon it is dangerous for them to return to Belarus. Under the Belarusian legislation, even volunteers involved in combat abroad without monetary compensation are treated as mercenaries. The Ukrainian authorities have not granted them citizenship or any other legal status in the country. When Ukraine started withdrawing voluntary troops from the ATO area, the young men could not join the Ukrainian Army because they did not have the Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine suggested that they return to Belarus.

The Belarusians are currently at the Przemyśl migration centre. They asked Belarusian Zmitser Hurbich for assistance in Poland. Hurbich says he has already informed an aide to the Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs about their situation. The battalion commander where the Belarusians served now needs to confirm their participation in combat, according to the officials.