Poland detains Russians spreading Wagner Group propaganda

Poland has recently warned of possible provocations coming from the mercenary group currently based in neighbouring Belarus

 Wagner Group (photo: DW)
Wagner Group (photo: DW)


Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski on Monday said police and the country's Internal Security Agency had detained two people suspected of spying and other charges.

Poland has recently complained of possible provocations from the Wagner Group, currently based in neighboring Belarus.

What do we know about the arrests?

The men were spreading material from the Russian mercenary Wagner Group in Poland's two largest cities, the minister said.

"The Internal Security Agency identified and detained two Russians who distributed propaganda materials of the Wagner Group in Krakow and Warsaw," Kaminski wrote on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Both were charged with espionage, among other things, and were arrested."

Polish media last week reported that stickers had appeared with the Wagner logo and inscriptions in English reading "We are here — join us."

The stickers included QR codes linking to a Russian website about the mercenary group.

Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said the stickers were reported to the police by residents in Krakow and Warsaw.
It was not specified if the arrests were linked to the distribution of the stickers.

Poland and Lithuania wary of neighbor

In light of Wagner's presence in Belarus, Warsaw has promised to boost troop levels at the border between the two countries to 10,000.

Soldiers from Russia's Wagner mercenary group have appeared near the border in recent weeks, a development that has also seen Lithuania boost border security.

The Wagner fighters arrived in Russian-allied Belarus as part of an agreement that ended their armed rebellion in late June and allowed their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to escape criminal charges.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said the arrival of Wagner is aimed at destabilizing the situation on NATO's eastern flank.

Lithuania and Poland have said they are braced for provocations from Russia and its ally Belarus, which has also staged military maneuvers in the Grodno region of Belarus.

Grodno is close to the Suwalki Gap — a lightly populated sliver of land that runs 96 kilometers (60 miles) along the Polish-Lithuanian border.

The gap connects the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with the rest of the NATO alliance and separates Belarus from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

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