Poland denies secret plan for Ukraine

Poland has denied claims by Moscow’s spy that it plans to take over a portion of Ukrainian territory, calling it a “Russian information operation” aimed against Warsaw and Washington.

The Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin warned on Thursday that Poland might be plotting with the US to occupy western Ukraine with “peacekeepers” under the guise of military exercises – which the Poles insist are still scheduled and completely unrelated.

“Russia’s intelligence chief is spreading insinuations against Poland and the US, convincing falsely that both countries are preparing ‘a Polish annexation of western Ukraine’,” Stanislaw Zaryn, the spokesman for the ministry in charge of security services, tweeted on Thursday evening. 

“The highest officials of the Kremlin are joining in the denigration of Poland,” Zaryn complained, noting that “lies” about Warsaw’s alleged designs on Ukrainian territory have been around for years, but intensified after “Russia’s invasion.” He spoke on behalf of Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish interior minister and coordinator of secret services.

Naryshkin had said on Thursday that Poland and the US were working on a plan for territories in western Ukraine that Warsaw regards as “historically belonging” to Poland. The first phase of the “reunification” project would see Polish troops deployed there as “peacekeepers” under the pretext of protecting Ukraine from “Russian aggression,” Naryshkin outlined in a public statement.

Upon its reconstitution in 1919, Poland claimed territories that are now part of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, known as Kresy Wschodnie, or “eastern borderlands.” Cities like Lwow and Stanislawow – known as Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk in present-day Ukraine – ended up in the USSR after WWII, however, as Poland’s borders were shifted westward to the Oder-Neisse line. 

Even as Warsaw vehemently denied Naryshkin’s claim, the Polish Ministry of Defense said it was proceeding with large-scale military exercises near the Ukrainian border, starting May 1. The Polish public were warned that “columns of military vehicles” would be moving on “highways, expressways and national roads,” and  urged not to film the traffic.

“We make an appeal to the public,” the military said. “Please do not publish information and photos showing troop movements and their location, dates and times of travel of military columns, [or] data on departures and landings of military aircraft,” as this could have a negative impact on the “security and defense” of Poland.

Naryshkin had claimed that Poland was looking to use a “peacekeeping” operation as cover for the land grab, and seeking out “reliable” Ukrainian politicians in the targeted territories.

Poland has taken in over three million Ukrainian refugees, this year. It has shipped some of its Soviet-era tanks and other equipment to Ukraine, and is currently a major hub for NATO military aid to Kiev.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Poland has taken in over three million Ukrainian refugees, this year. It has shipped some of its Soviet-era tanks and other equipment to Ukraine, and is currently a major hub for NATO military aid to Kiev.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

https://www.rt.com/russia/554694-poland-denies-ukraine-plan/

Poland has secret plan for Ukraine, Moscow claims

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. 

https://www.rt.com/russia/554671-poland-ukraine-spy-split/