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Russia uses migrants as weapon in hybrid war against West: Polish security official

02.05.2023 14:30
Russia is using “engineered migration flows,” including to Poland, as part of its hybrid warfare against the West, a senior Polish security official has said. 
Stanisław Żaryn.
Stanisław Żaryn.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Stanisław Żaryn made the remark in a statement published by the Polish Prime Minister’s Office, the biznesalert.pl website has reported.

Żaryn, who is the Polish government’s commissioner for the security of the information space, said that “to this day,” Belarus and Russia are continuing “a hybrid operation against Poland” using “the migration route.”

He added that “from the very beginning, these actions have been coordinated, systemic and carried out by Belarusian and Russian state structures.”  

Żaryn also said that an “adequate reaction" by the Polish government had made it possible to block a trail of “illegal migration” on the Belarusian border, adding that "the authors of the migration operation failed to destabilise Poland and Europe with a wave of migration.”     

The Polish security official warned that Warsaw’s “adequate response to the threat” has been used “to attack Poland” by means of propaganda. 

Żaryn further said that “the attack on Poland, which has been carried out since 2021, demonstrates “the scale of challenges and threats facing the whole of Europe.”

He added that these threats “are demanding because they are not obvious,” and that counteracting them “depends on the adequate identification of the real actions of the aggressor.”

'Hybrid war against the West'

Żaryn argued that “for Poland it was obvious” that migration flows on the Belarusian border were not “a natural migration movement,” but “a deliberate hybrid operation led by a foreign state.” 

Citing a report by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW), Żaryn said the Kremlin had used the "forced migration engineering" method to attack other countries before, such as the United States in the 1980s and Finland in 2015, with the current migration through Belarus representing another “Russian-led operation.”  

Żaryn stated: “The Russians are deliberately using foreigners to weaken Western countries. The operation to destabilise Europe has been discussed many times by Russian military experts and strategists. The assessment is unequivocal – stimulated migration is an element of the hybrid war against the West.”

‘We need to understand the nature of Russia’s actions’ 

Żaryn said that Russia's Institute for Dynamic Conservatism think tank had advocated stimulating migration flows to weaken the West.

The think tank said, according to Żaryn: “You can flood their cities with professional intelligence officers and terrorists from Eurasia and wage a well-coordinated, fierce terrorist war against the West."

It added, as quoted by Żaryn: “It is easier to use terrorist technologies in the EU and America than anywhere else. This is possible thanks to the influx of Arab and Turkish immigration to the EU and the long-standing ethnic and cultural diversity of the United States.”

Żaryn warned that Russia’s military doctrine entailed the use of “active means” to attack the West, which is “another name for ‘non-military means’ or hybrid methods.”

He added that “in order to realistically neutralise such attacks, one needs to understand the nature of Russia's actions.”

“The Polish government realistically assessed the threats arising from the hybrid operation launched in 2021,” Żaryn said.

He concluded: “Unfortunately, to this day, some people do not understand how treacherous Russian actions against Europe can be.”

Tuesday is day 433 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: biznesalert.pl, gov.pl