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Top Russian spy raises ‘hyena’ alarm

Poland is practicing fighting against NATO ally Germany, the Russian intelligence head has said

Warsaw is not just looking at taking a bite out of Ukraine, but preparing for a hypothetical conflict with fellow NATO member Germany, according to the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin.

Naryshkin pointed to a military exercise conducted at the end of March near the city of Szczecin, on the German-Polish border. The drills, code-named ‘Daglezja’ (Douglas fir), involved three Polish brigades dealing with “military aggression” from an unnamed neighbor to the west, who was using the “national diaspora living in the West Pomeranian voivodeship.”

Polish troops practiced destroying bridges, erecting barricades and mining the roads between the towns of Tanowo and Pargowo, along the border with Germany, the SVR said. 


This kind of military planning reflects Warsaw’s growing “anti-German sentiments and fears about possible revanchist claims of Berlin,” according to the Russian intelligence head. The “suspicion” towards the NATO ally to the west is parallel to Poland’s ongoing territorial aspirations towards its former “eastern borderlands,” now part of Ukraine.

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FILE PHOTO: Sergey Naryshkin, the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia.
Top Russian spy warns of Polish land grab 

“Today’s Poland is turning into what it was in the times of Jozef Pilsudski, when Warsaw was in conflict with all its neighbors and longed for territorial expansion,” Naryshkin said in a statement. “Such was the Poland that [British PM] Winston Churchill aptly called ‘the hyena of Europe’ on the eve of the Second World War.”

Naryshkin has previously suggested that Warsaw harbored designs on Ukrainian territory, but Poland has denied such allegations and accused the Russian official of waging information warfare.


After the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany, Poland ended up shifting to the west – losing territories in the east to present-day Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, while gaining previously historical German lands up to the Oder-Neisse line. 

Although both countries are members of the US-led NATO, last October Warsaw demanded more than €1.3 trillion in WWII reparations from Berlin, and appealed to the UN for help in January, after Germany refused. 

Visiting the US earlier this month, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki declared that Warsaw wanted to build “the strongest army in Europe” and offered to serve as a hub for the expanded US military presence on the continent.

April 26, 2023 at 11:15PM


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