Over the past 24 hours, attempts by 56 persons to illegally cross the Latvian border with Belarus have been prevented. "There's a slight drop, there's not more than a hundred [attempts per day] as was customary before that. Certainly, the cold weather has put adjustments in place, the number of violations has decreased, but at the same time we see an increase in attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border," Pujāts said.
Although the number of violations is decreasing, the cold weather brings other challenges – offenders must be provided with clothing, footwear, and warm food, the Border Guard chief explained.
This year, Pujāts said, migrants have become emore aggressive, multiple attacks on border guards have been carried out, as well as dozens of cases of damaging the fence. "There have been attempts to stone, as well as physical attacks on border guards. This year has been tense, and Latvia has been a key target country for the implementation of this hybrid war this year," Pujāts said.
In late October, the border guard reported a case of refugees from Belarus bringing deceased people to the border. Asked about how this situation was resolved, Pujāts said: "This is an example that both infrastructure helps and Latvia's border guards are vigilant. Namely, we did not allow these people to enter Latvia. They were in Belarus and after a certain period, the Belarusian authorities collected those bodies. I find it hard to comment, but most likely they had already died."
"If Latvia's border guards had not been vigilant enough, I think there would have been an attempt to bring them into Latvia," Pujāts said.
He also announced that the remains of two dead people had been found in Latvia, but it can be seen that they had been dragged. The circumstances of what happened are being investigated.
Pujāts said that although the geopolitical situation is difficult and hybrid attacks are being carried out from Belarus, Latvian border guards report cases to Belarusian counterparts if injured people are seen on the Belarusian side, but the responsible Belarusian authorities react late. “The activity from the opposite side is low,” Pujāts added.