As tensions mount, Poland intends to deploy 10,000 soldiers along its border with Belarus. On Thursday, Poland’s defense minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, confirmed that the country is worried about the presence of Russian-linked mercenaries near Belarus borders. The minister also said that they are worried about migrants trying to cross without authorization and hence the need for deploying troops. Essentially, the soldiers are deployed to reinforce the police and Border Guard officers.
For about two years, Poland and other countries located on the eastern NATO flank have accused Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko of opening the migration route. Lukashenko, an ally of Vladimir Putin, is accused of starting a hybrid warfare to destabilize the West. Poland is also sending ten thousand soldiers to the border because they are concerned by the presence of Wagner group fighters. Last week, tensions heightened after two Belarusian military helicopters entered Polish airspace briefly. Although they did not attack, Poland deemed the action as a deliberate provocation.
According to Blaszczak, at least 20,000 illegal immigrants tried to cross the green border i.e., from Belarus to Russia and the European Union this year. The number has increased immensely because only 16,000 attempts were made last year. July had a record-breaking number with at least 4,000 people trying to enter Poland illegally.
Polish authorities have alleged that each illegal crossing is facilitated by the Belarusian authorities. However, Belarus has denied the allegations saying that their officers do not help illegal immigrants in any way. Poland further claimed that the Wagner Group, reportedly camping in Belarus, could arm migrants crossing to Poland trying to Provoke Poland and start a war. Therefore, Poland deems it fit to increase the number of troops along the border to prevent that from happening.