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Polish PM: Wagner group’s movement to Suwalki Gap step towards hybrid attack

Mateusz Morawiecki confirms that a group of 100 Wagnerites is indeed moving towards the narrow strip of land between Belarus and Kaliningrad
Suwalki gap POland baltic states
The Suwalki gap on a map. Image: UpNorth
Polish PM: Wagner group’s movement to Suwalki Gap step towards hybrid attack

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that the movement of 100 fighters of the Wagner PMC towards the Suwalki Gap, a sparsely-populated strip of land connecting the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad with Belarus, is a step towards a further hybrid attack on Polish territory. Speaking to the press in Gliwice, Morawiecki said that Poland has information that over 100 mercenaries of the Wagner Group have moved towards the Suwałki Gap, rmf24 reported. The Suwalki Gap is a major NATO vulnerability, as its seizure would cut off the Baltic States from their NATO allies. According to the head of the Polish government, “This is definitely a step towards a further hybrid attack on Polish territory. They are likely to be disguised as Belarusian border guards and will help illegal immigrants enter Polish territory and destabilize Poland, but they are also likely to try to enter Polish territory posing as illegal immigrants, and this creates additional risks, he said. Earlier, the Sprovyv portal, created by the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine to coordinate the underground, reported that about 100 mercenaries of the Russian Wagner group had arrived in Grodno. Most of the mercenaries who arrived have experience in smuggling activities, including the transportation of illegal migrants, the portal claims. The portal also reported, citing a source in the Belarusian army, that Wagner is recruiting Belarusians to participate in military operations in Poland and Lithuania. Earlier, Poland’s Interior Minister said that in case of serious incidents involving Wagner’s men, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia “will take action together.” He added that Warsaw is in talks with Latvia and Lithuania on how to respond to the presence of mercenaries and that the countries admit the possible closure of borders with Belarus if necessary.

Wagner in Belarus

Wagner, once playing a prominent role in Russia’s assault on Ukraine, has relocated to Belarus after its financier Yevgeny Prigozhin announced a “march” on Moscow on the evening of 23 June 2023. He initially claimed that Wagner’s headquarters were allegedly shelled by Russian forces but later reached an agreement with the Russian authorities and withdrew his troops.

In response to the mutiny, Putin allowed Prigozhin to leave to Belarus. The Wagner group members who wanted to follow were allowed to leave, as well, while the others were required to become part of the Russian Army. Belarusian self-declared President Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that the Wagner Group would train the Belarusian army. On 15 July, border guards confirmed the arrival of Wagner Group fighters in Belarus. The Belarusian MoD said that the PMC has begun training Belarusian troops. However, Ukraine has stated that Wagner is recruiting locals for military operations in Poland and Lithuania.


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