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Poland to deploy additional 2,000 soldiers to Belarusian border

by Martin Fornusek August 9, 2023 5:06 PM 2 min read
Polish border guards patrol the border with Belarus not far from Bialowieza, Poland, on May 29, 2023. (Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Poland will deploy additional 2,000 soldiers to support the Border Guard stationed at the Belarusian border, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on Aug. 9.

The newly announced reinforcements, which will be deployed in the Lublin and Podlaskie provinces within the next two weeks, come in addition to the 2,000 soldiers already stationed at the border along with the Border Guard units, the PAP said.

While the Border Guard earlier requested only 1,000 soldiers as reinforcements, the Defense Ministry decided to send twice the number.

"The reinforcement will not be 1,000, but 2,000 soldiers. Such a decision was made by the Security Committee...and by (Defense) Minister Mariusz Blaszczak," Wasik told the PAP.

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has been growing tense for the past two years. Since 2021, Minsk has been sending migrants mainly from the Middle East to the borders of Poland and the Baltic countries, facilitating an artificial migrant crisis.

Recently, the tensions surged again as Yevgeny Prigozhin's Wagner Group fighters began pouring into Belarus following their short-lived uprising against the Kremlin.

Since then, Wagner mercenaries conducted military exercises with Belarusian soldiers in Brest Oblast near the Polish border.

On July 29, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that 100 Wagner mercenaries had been deployed near the Suwalki Corridor, a strategic strip of land between Poland and Lithuania that also divides Belarus from Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.

Adding to the growing tension, two Belarusian helicopters violated Polish airspace on Aug. 1

While the prime minister warned earlier that Wagner fighters can try to infiltrate Poland from Belarus, Wasik told the PAP that the mercenaries do not threaten Polish security "in a tactical sense."

Belarus Weekly: Helicopters violate Polish airspace; Wagner moves closer to border
Tensions rise after Belarusian helicopters cross into Polish territory, the country’s state border service said on Aug. 1. Poland also alleges that around 100 Wagner mercenaries are transferred closer to the Suwalki Corridor, bringing tensions to a new high. Subscribe to the NewsletterBelarus…

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