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By John Helmer, Moscow

Russia’s warning to Poland not to send troops into the western Galician region of the Ukraine has fallen on deaf ears in Warsaw. Instead, electioneering ahead of an October national parliamentary vote has dictated different priorities for the governing party, the main opposition party, and the rising Konfederacja (“Confederation”) party.

No major politician in the country has commented. The government downplayed by summoning the Russian ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw on Saturday to be told that Poland “strongly condemn[s] the threats and unjustified questioning of [Poland’s] borders.”  

Speaking from Washington, Radoslaw Sikorski, now a Polish member of the European Parliament under financial investigation, said Putin “is clearly up to something. He’s provoking Poland. Wagner’s mercenaries are in Belarus… He’s clearly preparing some kind of provocation, probably to draw Belarus into the war. I don’t expect him to attack NATO [Poland] because clearly Russia would lose… Let me be absolutely clear. Poland has zero territorial designs on anybody. This is just looking for some kind of provocation. Mr Putin’s war is not doing well. Umm, yee, perhaps he’s trying to scare us into, errr, us self-deterring so to speak.”   

To capture or hold the votes of Poles already concerned at the impact on the country of unrestricted Ukrainian and muslim refugees, and the losses to farmers of dumping of Ukrainian grain exports, Putin’s warning is not triggering public debate, or exposing significant differences between the government and the opposition parties.  

Independent Polish political analyst Stanislas Balcerac comments “there’s not much coverage, Poland is more concerned about Wagner in Belarus. There are other topics – the election campaign, toxic waste fire in Zielona Gora.    Confederation may be stealing some of the younger voters from the PiS [Law and Justice, the government party], but it is unclear how the PiS wants to deal with it between now and the election date.”

On Friday morning, speaking at a session of the Security Council, Putin spoke publicly of  “plans to establish some sort of the so-called Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian unit. This is not about a group of [Polish] mercenaries – there are plenty of them there [Ukraine] and they are being destroyed – but about a well-organised, equipped regular military unit to be used for operations in Ukraine, including to allegedly ensure the security of today’s Western Ukraine – actually, to call things by their true name, for the subsequent occupation of these territories. The outlook is clear: in the event Polish forces enter, say, Lvov or other Ukrainian territories, they will stay there, and they will stay there for good.”

He warned that President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime in Kiev may be contemplating a trade with Poland of the territory around Lvov in exchange for Polish military intervention to support Kiev against Russia:  “Today we see that the regime in Kiev is ready to go to any length to save its treacherous hide and to prolong its existence. They do not care for the people of Ukraine or Ukrainian sovereignty or national interests. They are ready to sell anything, including people and land, just like their ideological forefathers led by Petlyura,    who signed the so-called secret conventions with Poland in 1920 under which they ceded Galicia and Western Volhynia to Poland in return for military support. Traitors like them are ready now to open the gate to their foreign handlers and to sell Ukraine again.”

“As for the Polish leaders, they probably hope to form a coalition under the NATO umbrella in order to directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine and to bite off as much as possible, to ‘regain’, as they see it, their historical territories, that is, modern-day Western Ukraine. It is also common knowledge that they dream about Belarusian land.”

If that were to happen, Putin said Russia would support a Ukrainian regime replacing Zelensky and opposing the Poles. “The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West. That is why it is planning to use other expendables – Poles, Lithuanians and everyone else they do not care about. I can tell you that this is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.”

Read analysis of the new Russian position here.

Source: https://twitter.com/

Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergei Andreyev in Warsaw following the brief official meeting at the Foreign Ministry on July 22.  

The Polish state media have ignored Putin’s historical precedents and the deal-making underway between the Ukrainian military command and its Polish counterpart. The Polish commercial network TVN24, which is owned by the US media corporation Warner Bros. Discovery,  broadcast a discussion with a think-tank academic and a retired military intelligence colonel.  

“‘The Russians are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine,’ Agnieszka Legucka, an analyst for Russia at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, said in the Fakty po Faktach [Facts after Facts] programme. ‘Putin has recently been portraying himself as such an expert in history.  Anyway, in 2019 he launched attacks on Poland, in particular when it comes to this historical dimension. He accused us of starting World War II,’ she said. ‘And Poland now, especially when it supports Ukraine so much both militarily and humanely, has become one of the countries that is attacked by the Russian authorities directly, including Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev.’  According to the expert, the Russians ‘are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine. And the issue of the alleged separation of Ukraine and even Belarus is very eagerly raised by both Russian and Belarusian propaganda,’ she added.”

Left, Warsaw think-tanker Agnieszka Legucka; right, retired Polish military counterintelligence deputy chief, Colonel  Maciej Matysiak.

The television broadcast also played down the threat of a Russian-backed attack on Polish territory across the Belarus border; this has been more widely reported in the Polish press than Putin’s speech.

 “Reserve Colonel Maciej Matysiak, a former deputy  head of the Military Counterintelligence  Service, referred to the statement of the former head of the National Security Bureau Stanisław  Koziej, who stated that the defence plans adopted at the NATO summit in Vilnius ‘adapt the concept of forward defence to the needs of  the Second Cold War with Russia.’ ‘It can be described as the doctrine of pre-emptive defence. Its political trademark is its willingness to defend every inch of allied territory,’ he wrote. The guest of TVN24 was asked what exactly this means and whether, for example, we grant ourselves the right to hit the Wagnerites in Belarus right next to our border, before they hit us.”

“‘Strategically, of course, such thinking is the most expedient. But if we look at the current situation, absolutely not’, replied Colonel Matysiak. ‘Here the situation would have to become very aggravated, inflamed and we would have to see symptoms of preparing a real strike on the territory of Polish or the eastern flank of NATO. But such symptoms are not visible, and the presence of Wagnerites is nothing special,’ he said. The expert reminded that ‘there are many more soldiers in the Königsberg [Kaliningrad] region and these forces have much greater potential, and were even greater until the Russians withdrew some of them exactly because of the invasion of Ukraine.  So at present this is a purely theoretical consideration in terms of strategic plans, not current activities. So here I would like [everyone] to absolutely calm down.”

In Polish election politics Sikorski is attempting to do the opposite. He is one of the most anti-Russian politicians in the country,  but investigations of his finances, favour-seeking and trading, and other problems have marginalised him in his own party, Civic Platform (PO); follow the archive of Sikorski’s fall from power and influence here.  

Aggressiveness against Russia is one of the diversionary tactics Sikorski has been using to recover the domestic voter support he has lost. But his line is more appealing to the war party in Washington, which in turn has been supporting the opposition against the governing party in the coming election.    Sikorski is now proposing that NATO open a new war front in the Black Sea, in effect breaking the Montreux Convention  restrictions on foreign warships entering the sea.

“What we should be thinking about is, uhh, creating an international coalition to create a naval exclusion zone in the Black Sea to get all the grain to the Middle East and Africa. That is what this is really about… NATO is not fighting Russia. We have even asked the Ukrainians not to attack Russia itself.”

Source: https://mediaview.aljazeera.com/
Sikorski’s appearance in this television clip reveals clinically excessive eye blinking which may indicate a neurological or chemical disorder. This in turn may explain the contradiction between his advocating NATO escalation of naval war and the claim that NATO is not at war with Russia. 

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