29 JULY 2023
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced the relocation of a group of mercenaries from the Wagner Group to the Suwałki Gap, which connects the country with the Baltic States and also separates the territory of Russian Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus.
Source:RMF FM, as European Pravda reports
Morawiecki said that Poland has been facing constant attacks on its border for the past two years. This year alone, he added, 16,000 attempts to illegally cross the border were recorded by migrants lured by Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko to “push them into Poland”.
“Now the situation is becoming even more dangerous. We have information that more than 100 mercenaries of the Wagner Group have moved towards the Suwałki Gap near Hrodna in Belarus,” Morawiecki said.
According to the Polish Prime Minister, “this is definitely a step towards a further hybrid attack on Polish territory. They are likely to be disguised as Belarusian border guards and will help illegal immigrants enter Polish territory, destabilise Poland, but they are also likely to try to enter Polish territory posing as illegal immigrants, which creates additional risks,” he said.
Earlier, the National Resistance Center, created by the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine, reported that about a hundred mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group had arrived in Hrodna.
The majority of the mercenaries have experience in smuggling activities, including the smuggling of illegal migrants, the centre claims.
Earlier, Poland’s Interior Minister said that in case of serious incidents involving Wagner’s men, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia would “take action together”.
He added that Warsaw is in talks with Latvia and Lithuania on how to respond to the presence of mercenaries, and that the countries allow for the possible closure of borders with Belarus if necessary.
Last week, Belarus announced the start of joint exercises with the Wagner Group at the Brest training ground near the Polish border. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, as of 22 July, there were approximately 5,000 Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group in Belarus.
Poland decided to deploy its troops east because of the Wagner Group in Belarus, while Lithuania called the exercise a “demonstration action”.