Belarusians file most asylum applications in Poland

Belarusians have been responsible for most political asylum applications in Poland this year, according to the country's Office for Foreigners (UdSC).

According to a UdSC report for the first half-year presented on Monday, there were 1,700 refugee applications filed in Poland, 27 percent more than for the same period in 2020.

Belarusians filed 667 applications, Russians 465, Afghans 140, Ukrainians 112 and Turks 50, the UdSC said.

In total, 391 were granted international protection in Poland although in the case of Belarusians the approval rate was 100 percent in comparison with a general approval rate of 39 percent, the office went on to say.

For almost a year, Belarus has been gripped by mass protests against the Alexander Lukashenko regime, with hundreds of his opponents detained and many exiled. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 25 years, claims to have won a presidential election last summer, but his critics and the West say the vote was rigged.