A man was detained by the Polish border guard, while his wife and three children managed to flee into Belarus
A Russian family made a desperate attempt to flee the EU on Wednesday, crashing through a border post at the frontier between Poland and Belarus. The attempt was partially successful, as a Russian woman and her three children managed to escape, while her husband ended up detained.
The couple drove their car through barriers at the Terespol border crossing. CCTV footage circulated by Belarusian border guard shows their damaged vehicle caught in a traffic jam at the checkpoint. The woman and her three children then crossed the border into Belarus on foot, while her husband remained behind in an apparent attempt to slow down the pursuing Polish officers. According to Polish media reports citing the border guard, the man, who has not been identified, ended up detained and now faces charges of breaching the border and destroying state property.
The woman, identified only by her first name, Zuleikhan, spoke to Belarusian media, revealing that she moved to Sweden in 2014, where her husband was working at the time. The family resided in the country for several years, before running into unspecified legal trouble and ultimately fearing their children could end up being seized and placed for adoption.
The family no longer felt safe in the country, Zuleikhan explained, blaming the changes on a resurgence of right-wing parties in Sweden. While she did not elaborate, she apparently was referring to the nationalist Sweden Democrats party that placed second in the 2022 general election.
They spent the past year in Poland, gathering necessary paperwork to return to Russia - namely, to the Chechen Republic, according to the woman. The family was still not sure they would be allowed to leave, given that two of their children were Swedish nationals, so they resorted to the daring escape attempt.
The incident has been acknowledged by Russian diplomats, who say the woman and her children have already been accommodated in Belarus and their return to Russia is already in the works. The diplomats did not provide any statement on the fate of the husband.
"The consul took the family from the Belarusian border checkpoint and brought them to their relatives who live in Brest," the Russian embassy said in a statement, extending gratitude to the Belarusian authorities for their "help and cooperation."