POLAND/RUSSIA: Warsaw plans to deploy troops to occupy western Ukraine, Russian spy chief alleges
Intelligence obtained by Russia suggests that Poland and the US are working on a plan for Warsaw to regain control of Ukrainian areas that Warsaw considers as “historically belonging” to it, Moscow’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergey Naryshkin has said.
According to the alleged plan, the first stage of this “reunification” will see Polish “peacekeepers” deployed in western Ukraine under the pretext of “protection from Russian aggression,” Naryshkin outlined in a statement on Thursday.
The details of the operation are now being discussed between Warsaw and the US government, he claimed, adding that the operation is designed to be executed without a NATO mandate, and only volunteer states taking part.
Warsaw has so far been unable to find any other nations to join its cause, he added. But the Polish authorities are unconcerned by this, as they want to minimize the number of “unnecessary witnesses” to their actions, Naryshkin said.
Despite their publicly declared goal of countering Moscow, the Polish troops would be deployed in parts of Ukraine where they’ll have almost no chance of engaging Russian forces, he explained.
According to Russian data, the actual “tactical objective” of the Polish troops will be taking control of strategic facilities from the Ukrainian National Guard. Poland’s intelligence services are apparently now searching for “reliable” members of the Kiev elite, who would be willing to form a pro-Warsaw counterbalance to Ukrainian nationalists.
The Polish government assumes that entrenching its forces in western Ukraine would, with a high probability, lead to the split of the country, he claimed. In this case, control over the territories where the peacekeepers are set to be deployed would remain in the hands of Warsaw, the spy chief continued.
The plan appears to be an attempt, he pointed out, to repeat an historic deal that was struck after World War I and saw Western nations accept Warsaw’s right to occupy, in the first instance, parts of Ukraine to protect its people from the “Bolshevik threat” and, later, to include those areas into the Polish state.
Ukraine’s western frontiers were last redrawn after World War II when Poland agreed to part with the Eastern Galicia region and most of Volhynia, which were incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Warsaw was compensated with land which had previously been part of Germany, most notably gaining the port city of Gdansk (Danzig).
Nazi Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, paving the way for a six-year occupation, which ended in 1945 when the Polish lands were liberated by the Red Army.
In 1943, Eastern Galicia and Volhynia became the scene of mass killings perpetrated by the Ukrainian nationalist groups OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army), which collaborated with the Nazis. Up to 100,000 people, mostly Poles and Jews, are believed to have been murdered back then.
A few years ago the Polish parliament recognized the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles during WWII as “genocide.” Members of the leadership which authorised the atrocities are now regarded as national heroes in Ukraine.
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