Poland announced last week that it will send more troops to its border with Belarus after claiming that Minsk violated its airspace with military helicopters—a claim that Minsk rejected.
The claim comes amid concerns that up to 4,000 Wagner mercenaries could be stationed in Belarus and planning some kind of action on either Poland or Lithuania. Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, called the Wagner group “extremely dangerous,” and said it is said it is “being redeployed to NATO’s eastern flank to destabilize it,” according to The New York Times.
The paper noted that Polish media reported last week that two helicopters, a Mi-24 and Mi-8, marked with Belarusian flags, “were seen in the area of Bialowieza, just across the border from Belarus.”
Poland’s military, at first, denied the reports, but then later confirmed their accuracy and said they were “carrying out training near the border.”
“The Belarusian side had previously informed the Polish side about the training,” Poland’s Ministry of Defense, said. “The border crossing took place in the Białowieża area at a very low altitude, making it difficult to detect by radar systems. Therefore, in the morning announcement, the Operational Command of the Armed Forces Branches informed that the Polish radar systems did not record any violation of Polish airspace.”
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense called the claim far-fetched and said the motive by Poland is to justify its increased troop presence along the border. The Aviationist reported that Minsk claims that “as the radars did not detect the violation, the evidence of helicopters being spotted over Poland is anecdotic, and has no actual confirmation.”
TRENDPOST: Russia and Belarus have taken provocative steps as Poland has been one of the most vocal supporters of Ukraine’s war effort. Poland sees Ukraine’s defense as a worthwhile cause since it measures its own security against the war’s outcome.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, in St. Petersburg earlier this month and they both commented on how the Ukrainian counteroffensive ran up against a brick wall.
Lukashenko said Wagner fighters were training his military and joked that they were eager to push into Poland, which is about six miles from where Belarusian troops are training with Wagner. (See “POLAND, SLOVAKIA PUSHING FOR FIGHTER JETS FOR UKRAINE, AS RUSSIA SAY THEY ARE AT WAR” 14 Feb 2023, “BIDEN PREPARING NATO FOR LONG WAR IN UKRAINE” 18 Jul 2023, and “LAVROV SAYS HE’S NOT WORRIED ABOUT NATO OFFICIALLY JOINING THE CONFLICT” 27 Jun 2023.)
“They are asking to go West, ask me for permission … to go on a trip to Warsaw, to Rzeszow,” Lukashenko said. “But of course, I am keeping them in central Belarus, like we agreed.”
Poland detained a man on Friday accused of spying for Russia. The Polish government said in a statement that the man entered the country in 2021 and “maintained contacts with citizens of the Russian Federation, with whom he was meeting in Saint Petersburg and Crimea,” DW.com reported.
The report noted that Lithuania, in the meantime, identified more than a thousand citizens of Russia and Belarus living in the country to be national security risks and that they will have their permanent residency permits taken.
Nothing like fighting for DUH-MOCK-RACY.