UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has branded the migrant crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus “intolerable” and said asylum seekers should not spend another night stranded. “I am appalled that large numbers of migrants and refugees continue to be left in a desperate situation in near-freezing temperatures at the Belarus-Poland border. I urge the states involved to take immediate steps to de-escalate and resolve this intolerable situation,” Bachelet said in a statement on Wednesday. She said that under international law people should not be prevented from seeking asylum. “Under international law, no one should ever be prevented from seeking protection, and individual consideration must be given to their protection needs.” Migrants trapped in Belarus made multiple attempts to force their way into Poland overnight, Warsaw said on Wednesday, announcing that it had reinforced the border as the EU prepares to impose sanctions on Belarus over the crisis. Earlier in the day the Kremlin blamed the crisis on the EU, saying it was failing to uphold its own humanitarian values and trying to “strangle” Belarus with plans to close part of the border. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that comments by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who on Tuesday blamed Moscow for the crisis, were unacceptable. Moscow sent a further signal of support for its ally Belarus by dispatching two strategic bomber planes to patrol Belarusian airspace. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on Wednesday that Belarus’s “instrumentalisation of migrants” was inhumane and unacceptable, her spokesperson said. The German leader asked her Russian counterpart to press Belarus’s government on the matter. Chaotic scenes were reported from the Polish-Belarusian border, hours after two large groups of migrants that had been stopped from moving further westwards reportedly broke through into Poland. The Polish Defence Ministry released a six-second video clip on Twitter in which a shot can be heard, followed by screams. It also said Belarusian officials were exercising violence against the migrants. Poland has erected a barbed wire fence to try to stop any attempts by migrants to break through. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating an unprecedented wave of migrants trying to illegally enter Poland from Belarus, saying the “attack” threatens to destabilise the European Union. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has demanded the migrants be allowed through into Poland. He said they mainly wanted to settle in Germany, not Poland. Dubbed “Europe‘s last dictator,” he has denied deliberately flying people in from nations in crisis like Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq and then moving them towards the EU border. Belarus accuses Poland of violating human rights by refusing to allow the migrants in. The Polish prime minister Morawiecki visited guards, troops and police at the border before turning his sights on Russia, Belarus’s main international backer. “This attack which Lukashenko is conducting has its mastermind in Moscow, the mastermind is President Putin,” Morawiecki told the Polish parliament on Tuesday. Poland accuses Belarus of staging armed cross-border intrusion The accusation came as thousands of desperate migrants were trapped in freezing weather on the Belarus-Poland border, where the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. “We are not seeking a fight,” Lukashenko told state news agency Belta. “I am not a madman, I understand perfectly well where it can lead. But we will not kneel.” The EU has accused Minsk of helping migrants trying to reach the bloc‘s external borders in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, as retaliation for Western sanctions on Belarus for political repression. Amid the chaos at the border, several dozen people managed to destroy fences close to the villages of Krynki and Bialowieza and to cross the border, Polish news agency PAP reported on Tuesday. Poland warns of ‘armed’ escalation in Belarus border migrant crisis Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed Western military “adventures” in the Middle East for prompting migrants to flee the region. He also called for a “unique approach” to be adopted for migrants arriving in the EU. “Why, when it comes to refugees heading to the European Union from Turkey, did the EU provide funding to keep them on Turkish territory?” he said. “Why can’t the Belarusians be helped in the same way?” The crisis came to a head on Monday when hundreds of migrants marched to the border in a bid to cross but were blocked by rows of Polish police, soldiers and border guards behind barbed wire. Both Poland and Belarus said the following day that between 3,000 to 4,000 migrants were now in an improvised camp at the border, near the Polish village of Kuznica.