Hybrid warfare: weaponized migration on the eastern border of the EU?


  • Viesturs Berzins AAU DIR




After a forced landing of a Ryanair flight which was carrying a journalist and opposition activist highlighting the human rights violations in Belarus, the EU decided to expand the sanctions against the Belorussian regime. The sanctions have been increasing since the disputed re-election of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. After the introduction of the last wave of sanctions, the Belarus-EU migrant crisis started. This article provides an overview of the migrant crisis on the Belorussian border with the EU, in the beginning of summer 2021. The research explores the possibility that this increase in irregular migration is an attempt to destabilize the states receiving the migrants. The theory of hybrid warfare suggests that striking a state’s weakest link is an efficient way to destabilize it. This article seeks to answer if Belarus is using tools of hybrid warfare as a response to the EU sanctions.