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Dozens Of Chechens At Polish Border, Hoping For Asylum

Dozens of Chechens are camping in Belarus at the border with Poland, complaining that they are "refugees" who are being prevented from entering the EU-member country by Polish authorities.

The group of Russian citizens from the Chechnya region include children, women, and elderly people. They reached the border checkpoint in the countryside near Brest on August 29 and set up camp after being refused entry into Poland.

Members of the group told RFE/RL that they will not leave their campsite until they receive an official decision from the government in Warsaw -- one way or another -- about their request to enter the European Union.

A Russian consulate official in Brest, Igor Koryakin, arrived at the border camp on August 30 to speak with the group.

Hundreds of citizens from Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya have gathered in Brest in recent months with hopes of crossing into the EU and gaining asylum.

Some have told RFE/RL that the increase in Chechen migrants who want asylum in the EU has been increasing because of oppressive and often violent tactics employed by officials in the regime of the Moscow-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

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