Belarusians Flee to Lithuania to Avoid Conscription

A former opposition frontrunner in Belarus said over 10,000 Belarusians applied for residence permits in Lithuania because of fear of the regime’s repression and unwillingness to fight against Ukrainians. 

“Tens of thousands of Belarusians have been repressed, more than 5,000 have been thrown in prison for long periods for political reasons, and 1,260 people have already been declared political prisoners,” Tsikhanovskaya said

Lithuanian Migration data showed that in the first six months of this year, the government granted residence permits to 10,116 Belarusian and 1,687 Russian citizens, with 4,400 Belarusian and 1,100 Russian applications still pending as of July. 

Statistics also showed an increasing number of issued residence permits to Belarusians and Russians in Lithuania since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, reports said there is also a growing number of irregular migrants entering Lithuania from Belarus, but even more, foreigners are leaving the country. 

Anna Michalska, a representative of the Polish Border Guard, said that in recent weeks, the number of illegal crossings from the Lithuanian side has increased.  

“Some of them have documents proving that they have been in Lithuanian migrant centers, while others are trying to leave directly from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border through Poland to other European countries,” Michalska said  

“This year, we have already apprehended 250 such people at the Lithuanian border, up from 100 last year,” Michalska added. 

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