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17/03/2023 | Alleged Russian spy and sabotage cell busted in Poland [updated]

Joseph Fitsanakis

SIX NINE MEMBERS OF AN alleged Russian saboteur cell have been arrested in Poland, according to media reports and official acknowledgements by Polish authorities.

 

Early reports on Wednesday afternoon local time centered on the arrests of six nine individuals, who were detained on suspicion of conducting espionage and planning sabotage attacks against various elements of transportation infrastructure.

Radio station RMF24 FM reported that the six nine individuals were detained following a number of early-morning raids conducted by the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW), which is the country’s primary counterintelligence and counterterrorism organization. At least some of the six nine individuals are reportedly Belarusian nationals who were active in Poland’s southeastern Podkarpackie Voivodeship, a largely rural province that borders Ukraine’s Lviv Oblast. Later on Wednesday, the RMF24 FM report was confirmed by Polish government officials, who spoke to the BBC.

Notably, the Podkarpackie Voivodeship is home to the Rzeszów–Jasionka International Airport, located near the village of Jasionka, which is approximately 60 miles, or 100 kilometers, from the Ukrainian border. Since the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, this provincial airport has been transformed into a major logistical gateway for the transportation of Western military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Dozens of Western aircraft land there every day, carrying supplies that are then loaded onto trucks or trains en route to Ukraine.

According to RMF24 FM, the six nine foreign nationals installed hidden miniature cameras at railway junctions and other strategic transportation hubs throughout the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. The cameras were allegedly used to collect information on the movement of trains and trucks that were being used to transport supplies from the Rzeszów–Jasionka International Airport to Ukraine. The radio station said that Polish authorities were scheduled to provide further information about the alleged spy cell at a press conference on Thursday.

[Updated to reflect arrest of nine individuals, as opposed to six, as initially reported]

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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