Russia waging ‘great hybrid war’ against Poland

Moscow is pulling out all the stops in a disinformation war against Poland, according to Polish website niezalezna.pl.

The website said that information provided by a man who tracks Russian subversive activities shows that Moscow is waging a “great hybrid war” against Poland.

Niezalezna.pl quoted Marcin Rey, the administrator of an online service focusing on the “Russian 5th Column in Poland,” as saying that such Moscow-backed activities are largely contracted out — and not necessarily to Russian nationals because “there are also Poles at the end of the subcontracting chain.”

At the top of the Russian propaganda machine “are very often Russian oligarchs, who in this way curry favour with the Kremlin,” Rey said, as quoted by niezalezna.pl.

‘Russian 5th Column in Poland’

Rey’s “Russian 5th Column in Poland” service provides information about pro-Russian activities in Poland and Polish politicians’ ties with the Kremlin, niezalezna.pl reported.

The website quoted Rey as saying that “the system of organised subversion could function in Poland without any Russian officer being directly in contact with anyone here on the spot.

“All this is done by intermediaries. It is not that someone is sitting at the Russian embassy and masterminding it,” Rey said, as quoted by niezalezna.pl.

Rey was on Tuesday a guest of a television programme hosted by journalist Dorota Kania, the niezalezna.pl reported.

The Koniec systemu (End of the System) programme hosted by Kania is aired by Polish conservative broadcaster Telewizja Republika.

On May 9, a number of well-known Polish figures attended a party at the Russian embassy in Warsaw celebrating the anniversary of the end of World War II, Rey told Kania during the programme, according to niezalezna.pl.

Among the guests were Polish ex-prime minister Leszek Miller, who formerly headed the leftist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party, and Monika Jaruzelska, the daughter of the late communist strongman Wojciech Jaruzelski, the website said.

Piotr Radtke, a man “who is taking part in a disinformation war against Poland, together with Yekaterina C., a [Russian woman] detained by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) a few days ago,” was also among those in attendance, niezalezna.pl said.

‘Pro-Kremlin and anti-Polish’

Polish security services said last week they had detained a Russian citizen and banned four people from entering the country after cracking down on a network waging a “hybrid and information war” masterminded by Moscow.

The Russian woman identified as “Yekaterina C.” was known in Poland as Katarzyna Cywilska and voiced strongly “pro-Kremlin and anti-Polish” views, Rey told Kania, according to niezalezna.pl.

A Polish security services spokesman warned last week that Russia was trying to destabilise Polish society and politics.

Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesman for the country’s security services chief, said that Poland’s Internal Security Agency had in recent weeks “neutralised the activity of two networks involved in the Russian hybrid and information war carried out against the Republic of Poland.”

He added that the Internal Security Agency had obtained information indicating that Russia was “not only inspiring Polish citizens to take specific actions against Poland and in the interests of Russia, but also financing their activities.”

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