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Poland moves troops to eastern border amid Wagner fears


Polish Army troops stand guard, as part of the 12th and 17th Mechanized Brigades beginning to move to the east of the country, in Poland, on July 8, 2023. Courtesy 12 Brygada Zmechanizowana/Handout via REUTERS

WARSAW (AP) — Poland began moving more than 1,000 troops to the east of the country on Saturday, the defense minister said, amid growing concern in the NATO member that the presence of Wagner Group fighters in Belarus could increase tension at its border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to offer mercenary fighters from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner group the option of relocating to Belarus has raised fears among eastern NATO members that their presence will cause further instability in the region.

“More than 1,000 soldiers and almost 200 teams from the 12th and 17th Mechanized Brigades begin to move towards the east of the country,” Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

“This is a demonstration of our willingness to respond to destabilization attempts near our country’s border.”

Last Sunday, Poland said it would send 500 police officers to beef up security on its border with Belarus.

Poland has seen an increase in the number of migrants trying to cross the border with Belarus in recent weeks. According to the Border Guard, more than 200 people tried to cross illegally on Friday, including citizens of Morocco, India and Ethiopia.

Poland has accused Belarus of artificially creating a migration crisis at the border since 2021 by bringing in people from the Middle East and Africa and trying to push them across the border.

A senior Wagner commander was quoted as saying on Saturday that the group’s mercenaries were preparing to move into Belarus.


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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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