More than 100 troops from the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner are on their way to a narrow strip of territory between Poland and Lithuania, according to Poland’s prime minister, who warns that they may pose as migrants in order to enter the border.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday that his administration had received information that the Wagner mercenaries were not far from Grodno, a city in western Belarus near the Suwalki gap or corridor. Thousands of Wagner troops are said to be in Belarus following Russia’s failed military insurrection.
Morawiecki reiterated accusations that Belarus, a key Russian ally, has been pushing migrants west in an attempt to overwhelm Polish border forces. Morawiecki described the troop movements as “another element in this campaign to destabilize the border.”
“They will probably be disguised as Belarusian border guards and will help illegal immigrants to enter Polish territory, destabilize Poland, but they will also probably try to infiltrate Poland pretending to be illegal immigrants and this creates additional risks,” he said.
Morawiecki, there have been around 16,000 attempts by migrants to cross the border illegally this year, “pushed to Poland” by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Wagner has not commented on the reports, thus it is unknown what Wagner’s forces are doing in Grodno. The deployment of Russian-allied soldiers along the Suwalki corridor, on the other hand, would constitute an escalation that would frighten NATO and EU countries.
Despite its short length of 60 miles, the corridor is vitally essential to NATO, the EU, Russia, and Belarus. The border zone connects the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to Belarus and serves as the only overland link connecting the Baltic republics to the rest of the EU.
Here is a tweet about the Wagner Group Polish Border.
Incredible Success for the #PolishArmy : Dozens of #Russian elites captured.#Russian forces cannot keep positions#StandWithUkraine#ukrainecounteroffensive#counteroffensive #Zelensky #PutinIsaWarCriminal #Melitopol #Bakhmut #Prigozhin #WagnerGroup#PutinIsaWarCriminal pic.twitter.com/ZBOX1SPleN
— Zaki Talia (@zaki_talia) July 31, 2023
Analysts predicted early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that the Kremlin would target the Suwalki corridor to safeguard Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost province and the only area of the country surrounded by EU states.
It is unclear how many Wagner troops are in Belarus. They were invited to the country as part of a deal struck by Belarus’ president last month to cease the mercenary group’s military insurgency against the Kremlin.
Lukashenko then invited Wagner to assist in the training of his country’s soldiers. The two countries are to perform joint military drills near Poland’s border, which is likely to exacerbate tensions.
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Lukashenko joked with Russia’s President Putin during a summit that Wagner fighters had begun to stress him because they wanted to move west on “an excursion.” Poland has stated that its borders are secure, but it has sent troops east owing to Wagner’s potential threats. Stay tuned to The Current Online for more news.