The dictatorship of Aleksandr Lukashenko, in effect a puppet state of Russia, is carrying out a dangerous escalation against Poland.
Mobilization of Russian mercenaries along the borders with Lithuania and Poland
Last Friday it became known that one hundred Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group arrived in the Belarusian town of Grodno, which has a significant Polish minority and is located very close to the borders with Lithuania and Poland. The published information indicates that the Russian mercenaries would have received uniforms from Belarusian border guards, perhaps so that their presence on the border goes more inconspicuous and with the aim of accompanying immigrants to make them enter Lithuania and Poland illegally.
The President of Lithuania, Gypsies Nausėda< /a>, and the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, they have confirmed that alert. Morawiecki has pointed out that we are facing "a step towards a new hybrid attack on Polish territory." He also pointed out that there have been 16,000 attempts to cross the border between Belarus and Poland illegally this year, a migration offensive launched by the Lukashenko dictatorship in 2021 against Lithuania and Poland. This threat against Poland's eastern border is being carried out just a few months before the Polish legislative elections this fall, and could be an attempt to destabilize one of the countries that is sending the most military aid to Ukraine.
The strategic Suwalki Corridor and Russia's interest in it
To this we must add that Grodno is at the gates of the so-called Suwalki Corridor, which separates Belarus from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad . That corridor coincides with the border that separates Poland from Lithuania. It is one of the most important strategic points in Europe today, because if Russia decided to invade Poland, it would surely do so in that area, leaving the Baltic republics isolated.
The raid of two Belarusian military helicopters in Poland
In the midst of this tense situation, this Tuesday, August 1, two Belarusian military helicopters deliberately flew over Polish territory. The intrusion took place in the Białowieża Forest in eastern Poland. Inhabitants of the area were able to take photos and record videos of the intrusion, which would have taken place early in the morning. At 9:09 CET, on his Facebook profile, Eliza Kowalczyk posted these three photos showing a Mil Mi-24P attack helicopter and a Mil Mi-8MTV-5 transport helicopter of the Belarusian Air Force, both flying over the forest Białowieża Polish.
Here we see the Mil Mi-24P attack helicopter, numbered 14. The aircraft appears to carry a rocket launcher on one of its weapon mounts.
Here we see the Mil Mi-8MTV-5 transport helicopter. Like the Russian Air Force, the Belarusian Air Force continues to use the red stars of the Soviet era, adding the Belarusian flag to its aircraft to distinguish itself from its Russian neighbors. Below we can see the Mi-8MTV-5 followed by the Mi-24P, flying over Polish territory.
Also, Kamil Syller has posted this other photo of the Mi-8MTV -5 Belarusian over Polish territory:
Syller has published this map indicating the point where the photo was taken: the village of Zastawa, a district in the western part of the city of Białowieża. According to the map, the Belarusian helicopters had penetrated three kilometers into Polish territory.
Visegrád 24 has published this map indicating the trajectory followed by Belarusian helicopters over Polish territory.
Poland directs a firm protest to Belarus and asks for explanations
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a statement informing that "the Business Manager of the Belarusian Embassy was immediately summoned to the Ministry", adding: "the Republic of Poland issued a firm protest and asked the Belarusian side to immediately explain the incident in detail. The Polish side emphasized that the incident is perceived as another element of the escalation of tension on the border between Poland and Belarus. Poland expects Belarus to refrain from such activities".
The Polish Army will increase its deployment on the border
Likewise, the Polish Ministry of Defense has published a statement confirming that on August 1 "there was a violation of Polish airspace by two Belarusian helicopters that were training near the border. The Belarusian side had previously informed the Polish side about a training.The border crossing took place in the Białowieża area at a very low altitude, making it difficult to detect by radar systems. Therefore, in the morning announcement, the Operational Command of the Armed Forces Branches reported that Polish radar systems did not register any violation of Polish airspace."
The statement added that Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence, ordered an increase in the number of soldiers on the border and the allocation of additional forces and resources, "including helicopter gunships." Likewise, the Polish Ministry of Defense adds: "NATO was informed of the incident." The statement recalls that "Russia and Belarus have recently intensified their hybrid activities against Poland."
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