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Why the Belarus migrant crisis is different

And what it tells us about the EU.

Christina Thornell is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

A crisis has been escalating along the border that divides Belarus and the European Union. For several weeks, thousands of migrants looking to reach the EU were trapped between Poland and Belarus, living in freezing camps with no humanitarian aid. Today, the migrants have been moved to warehouses for shelter, but this crisis isn’t over.

Since 2015, Europe has experienced several migration waves, but this one was different: This one was manufactured. Belarus lured migrants to the border to pressure the EU to lift sanctions. And while this particular crisis has started to die down, the problem isn’t going away. It’s the result of a complex EU migration policy that has opened the door to the exploitation of migrants, and until that policy is fixed, Belarus or other bordering nations could create a crisis all over again.

To understand how Belarus manufactured this crisis and the geopolitical context that allowed it to happen, watch the video above.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube.

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