A Russian plot to sabotage Poland’s train lines in an attempt to stop the country supplying weapons to Ukraine has been uncovered, with six suspected foreign agents arrested.
According to news outlet RMF FM, the “foreigners from across our eastern border” were detained by the Polish internal security service “on suspicion of working for Russian special services.”
The six agents – believed to be from Belarus – were seized after intelligence officers from Poland’s ABW found hidden cameras recording key railway routes for transferring weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.
They are suspected of sabotaging the lines to disrupt Kiev’s war effort. Poland’s Special Forces Minister said an official statement will be made tomorrow.
The arrests come just weeks after the minister in charge of the country’s special services announced that nine other people suspected of collaborating with the Russian and Belarusian services had also been detained in recent months.
Polish intelligence services captured a pro-Russian spy network that allegedly planned sabotage attacks on Polish rail lines. The agents were seized after intelligence officers from the Polish ABW (photo, file photo) found hidden cameras recording key railway routes for transferring arms and ammunition to Ukraine
The latest arrests relate to secret surveillance of railway tracks near the airport in Rzeszów in southeastern Poland (pictured), less than 80 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.
Stanislaw Zaryn also warned of Russia’s increasingly aggressive intelligence activities following Poland’s expulsion last year of 45 Russian diplomats accused of being spies. “Russia is looking for new ways to act against Poland,” he said.
“We are dealing with attempts to obtain sensitive information, including photographing credit cards or searching private phones of Poland.
“All this is used to collect data about what is happening in Poland and what movements our troops are making.” He added: “The Russians are using so-called soft blackmail to intimidate those questioned.”
The latest arrests relate to secret surveillance of railway lines near the airport in Rzeszów in southeastern Poland, less than 80 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the airport has become one of the most important places for the transfer of Western weapons and ammunition.
Points of ‘critical infrastructure’ were also reportedly targeted in other parts of the country.
NATO allies in the former communist east, such as Poland and Slovakia, have been particularly vocal supporters of Kiev since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Warsaw’s commitment to its neighbor has been instrumental in persuading European allies to donate heavy weapons to Ukraine, including tanks, a move opposed until recently by several governments, including Germany.
Poland has sent 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
In response to the Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders in January, Poland announced it would supply arms and ammunition to its neighbour.
And on the day of the invasion, February 24, Warsaw set up nine reception centers to receive refugees fleeing across the border. Since then, it has hosted more than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees – more than any other country.
Weapons supplied by Poland include rockets, grenade launchers, rifles, drones, tanks, RPGs and ammunition – as well as tanks and other vehicles.
News of the sabotage plot came a day after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland could give Ukraine MiG-29 fighter jets in the next four to six weeks.
His remarks suggest Kiev’s allies are moving closer to an agreement to further increase their military support for the embattled country.
Poland has said it would be willing to send Soviet-designed MiG-29 jets to Ukraine as part of a coalition of countries.
However, with Kiev’s allies cautious about jet handovers, it’s unclear how long such a process could take.
NATO allies in the former communist east, such as Poland and Slovakia, have been particularly vocal supporters of Kiev since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Poland has sent 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine (pictured upon their arrival in Ukraine last month)
The arrests come just weeks after the minister in charge of the country’s special services revealed that nine other people suspected of collaborating with the Russian and Belarusian services had also been detained in recent months. Pictured: ABW’s headquarters in Warsaw, Poland
“That could happen in the next 4-6 weeks,” Morawiecki told a news conference when asked how long it might take Warsaw to deliver the plane.
Last Thursday, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said his Polish counterpart had told him at a meeting of the European Union the previous day that Warsaw would agree to a joint process to hand over MiG-29 jets to Ukraine.
Nad said it was also time for Slovakia to make a decision on whether or not to send jets to Ukraine.
When asked on Thursday how many MiG-29 aircraft Warsaw could provide, the head of the presidential office, Pawel Szrot, said it would be “definitely not” 14.