In a recent press conference held at the Bumar-Łabędy military equipment producing plant in Gliwice, southern Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister, expressed deep concern over the escalating security situation on the eastern border with Belarus. He revealed that reportedly over 100 mercenaries affiliated with the Wagner Group have been observed moving towards the strategic Suwałki Gap, a critical stretch of Polish territory situated between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Prime Minister Morawiecki emphasized that Poland has been facing a sustained and complex hybrid attack on its eastern border for the past two years. The situation has reached a critical point, with this year alone witnessing approximately 16,000 attempts by illegal immigrants to cross into Poland. The Polish leader attributed these attempts to a deliberate ploy orchestrated by Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko, respectively. He accused them of pushing illegal immigrants towards Poland as part of their hybrid aggression strategy.
“The situation becomes even more dangerous now. We have received credible information that over 100 Wagner Group mercenaries are heading towards the Suwałki Gap near Grodno in Belarus,” stated Morawiecki. He warned that this development marks a significant step towards a potential further hybrid attack on Polish territory.
The Prime Minister expressed concerns that these mercenaries might attempt to disguise themselves as Belarusian border guards, collaborating with illegal immigrants to enter Polish territory. This scheme not only aims to destabilize Poland but also poses the threat of infiltration by the Wagner Group members, masquerading as illegal immigrants, creating additional security risks.
It is worth noting that in 2021, Poland experienced a surge in migratory pressure on its border with Belarus, with thousands of migrants attempting to enter the country. The Polish government squarely pointed the blame for this crisis at the Belarusian government, accusing them of facilitating the illegal entry of Middle Eastern and African migrants under the false pretense of easy access to the EU.
Polish officials believe that the hybrid attack from Belarus was meticulously planned in coordination with Russian secret services, adding to the complexity and seriousness of the security threat.