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Belarus: How Refugees Are Getting Trapped by Alexander Lukashenko

By Christina Hebel

09 Nov 2021 · 5 min read

Backpacks and sleeping bags are piled up in front of the Galleria shopping mall in the center of Minsk. Dozens of men and a few women in thick jackets with hoods squat on the floor, with some appearing to be dozing off and others on their phones. The phrase "dream bigger” shines above them, an ad for a bank’s new credit card.

It is mostly refugees from Iraq who gather here in the center of the Belarusian capital, an unusual sight in a country where people from the Middle East haven't generally been plentiful. Some Belarusians have taken to calling this part of Minsk "Little Baghdad.”

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