English Section

Poland detains Belarusian suspected of spying for Russia

04.08.2023 14:15
Poland’s Internal Security Agency has detained another suspected member of a Russian spy network, taking the total number of arrests in an ongoing investigation to 16, the country’s interior minister said on Friday.
An officer with Polands Internal Security Agency (ABW)
An officer with Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW)Photo: abw.gov.pl

Mariusz Kamiński announced the latest detention via social media, identifying the suspect as a Belarusian man named "Mikhail A.," Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Internal Security Agency (ABW) has detained another, 16th, person suspected of being part of a Russian spy network," Kaminski said on the X messaging platform, formerly known as Twitter.

He added that "Mikhail A. took part in the reconnaissance of military facilities and ports" and "also carried out propaganda activities for Russia."

The suspect "was taken into custody," Kamiński wrote.

Kamiński's press service said in a statement that the 39-year-old suspect lived in Russia in the past, where he spent "six years in jail" and "maintained contact with the citizens of Russia whom he had met in Saint Petersburg and in Crimea."

The suspect "came to Poland in 2021" and "contacted the coordinator of the spy ring," the statement said in English.

"The evidence in this case suggests that he was regularly paid for the execution of tasks designed to undermine both internal and external security of Poland," it added.

"These included the reconnaissance of critical infrastructure, namely military areas and facilities, and sea ports as well as pushing propaganda. While executing these tasks the suspect stayed low profile and took precautions so as not to be identified and tracked. The man would regularly change the means of communications and cover the tracks of his criminal activity. He was fully aware that his spying activities in Poland was punishable with imprisonment."

According to Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s security services, the Belarusian was "yet another member of a spy ring working for Russia on Polish soil."

Last month, Poland announced the detention of a Ukrainian citizen who was subsequently charged with “participation in an organised crime group” and “working for foreign intelligence against the interests of Poland,” according to the PAP news agency.

In June, Poland detained Russian ice hockey player on charges of espionage, according to reports at the time.

In March, Poland announced it had dismantled a Russian spy network and detained nine people, who it said had been preparing acts of sabotage, conducting anti-Polish propaganda and monitoring rail routes to Ukraine, according to news outlets.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 527 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, gov.pl/web