In response to escalating concerns over security along its border with Belarus, Poland’s Defence Ministry has unveiled plans to increase the number of soldiers stationed in the region to 10,000, as announced by the country’s Defence Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, on Thursday.
The minister disclosed to the state-owned broadcaster, Polish Radio, that the augmented troop presence aims to bring the number of soldiers close to the level observed in 2021, essentially solidifying security along the Polish-Belarusian border. Blaszczak stated, “Approximately 10,000 soldiers” will be deployed for this purpose. Out of this count, approximately 4,000 soldiers will collaborate with the Border Guard to fortify the border security measures, while the remaining 6,000 will be held in readiness.
Blaszczak elaborated that these soldiers will engage in skill-enhancement activities within reestablished garrisons in the eastern part of Poland. Around 2,000 troops are already positioned along the border, in conjunction with a sizeable contingent of police and Border Guard officers.
The decision to bolster the troop presence is an outcome of rising tensions in the region, initially triggered by an influx of migrants attempting to enter Poland from Belarus. More recently, a series of assaults using stones, bricks, and other projectiles originating from the Belarusian side, directed at Polish officers on patrol, have further exacerbated the situation. Poland’s concerns also extend to the presence of Wagner mercenaries, linked to Russia, within Belarus, along with a violation of Polish airspace by Belarusian helicopters.