Title: Poland Reinforces Border with Belarus Amidst Rise in Illegal Crossings
Poland’s Defense Ministry announced its decision to send reinforcements to the border with Belarus amidst a surge in illegal crossings. The ministry confirmed that an additional 1,000 troops will be deployed to assist the overwhelmed border guard service. This move comes in the wake of accusations against Belarusian border guards aiding illegal border crossings and the presence of the Wagner Group near the frontier.
Highlighting the dynamic situation on the border and a request from the border guards, the Polish Defense Ministry attributed the deployment to the need for additional support. At present, a total of 2,000 troops and 5,000 border guards are operating along the border to cope with the escalating situation.
Deputy Interior Minister Maceij Wasik acknowledged the growing migration pressure on the border with Belarus, stating that illegal crossings are being orchestrated by Belarusian border guards who damage the border fence to facilitate migrants’ entry. Reports have indicated an alarming increase in aggression against Polish border guards, soldiers, and police officers at the border.
Furthermore, the head of Polish border guard openly accused Belarusian secret services of being a criminal group involved in illegal migration. He claimed that Belarusian services are profiting from human trafficking, with nearly 19,000 migrants attempting to enter Poland from Belarus this year alone. Past incidents have witnessed tens of thousands of migrants entering or attempting to enter Poland from Belarus during similar border crossing crises.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has been observed near the border, raising concerns among neighboring countries. Lithuania, in response to this development, has also strengthened its border security measures. The Polish Prime Minister suspects that Wagner’s presence is aimed at destabilizing NATO’s eastern flank.
With both Poland and Lithuania anticipating provocations from Russia and Belarus, which have conducted military maneuvers in Belarus’ Grodno region, heightened concerns arise. This region is of strategic importance as it connects the Baltic states with the NATO alliance and lies between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
In response to these mounting challenges, Poland is taking assertive measures to ensure border security and protect its sovereignty. The deployment of additional troops is expected to bolster efforts to curb illegal border crossings and preserve stability in the region.
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