In H1 2021, some 115,000 Belarusians cross into Ukraine – MIA official.

Approximately 115,000 Belarusians arrived in Ukraine in the first six months of 2021 against 465,000 reported last year.

That’s according to Artem Shevchenko, Communications chief for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an Ukrinform correspondent reports from a Kyiv briefing.

"I would like to inform you that in 2021, some 115,000 Belarusian citizens crossed in through the Ukrainian border over the six months. Last year, there were 465,000 such people," Shevchenko said.

In the pre-quarantine year 2019, a total of 2.34 million citizens of Belarus arrived in Ukraine.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in October 2020 signed a decree on certain measures to attract entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals holding Belarusian passports. The decree is designed to promote the development of Ukraine's investment potential and attract highly qualified IT professionals and innovators.

Read also: Shishov’s death in Kyiv: Belarus ian House chief “was under surveillance,” NGO says

In early July, Zelensky said Ukraine's support for "Belarusian friends" remained unchanged, addressing, in particular, the measures to help Belarusian IT specialists who have decided to move to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, August 3, Belarusian citizen Vitaliy Shishov, head of the Belarusian House in Ukraine who was reported missing on Monday, was found hanged in a Kyiv park.

The Belarusian House in Ukraine NGO that was run by Shishov provides assistance to Belarusian nationals fleeing their home country over persecution.

In August 2020, large-scale protests erupted in Belarus against what is believed to be a rigged result of the latest presidential election where incumbent Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory.

The regime has brutally cracked down on protesters by resorting to mass arrests. The legitimacy of the Lukashenko regime has not been recognized by the EU, the United States, Ukraine, and most other democracies around the world. Many of those fearing persecution for taking part in rallies have fled the country, including to Ukraine.

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