Belarus threatens Poland: rhetoric of fear

Mercenaries from the Wagner group could go on a “trip” to Poland, threatens Belarusian dictator Lukashenko. This is meant to create divisions and stir up fears.

Soldier on a tank.

Wagner mercenaries and Belarusian soldiers during training in July 2023 in Belarus Photo: Belarus’ Defense Ministry/ap

It is commendable that Russian President Vladimir Putin cares about raising awareness of historical issues among his fellow citizens. Half a year ago, the world was enriched by the realization that Ukraine was created by Vladimir Lenin – ergo an artificial product with no right to exist. Now we learn that Poland must be grateful to Stalin for the areas allocated to the country in the course of the westward shift, which was contractually confirmed at the Potsdam Conference in 1945.

The most recent “greeting address” by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the direction of Warsaw also fits in with such historical nonsense: members of the Wagner mercenary troupe would not mind going on a “trip” from Belarus to Poland.

The goal of such statements is obvious: uncertainty and destabilization, albeit for different motives. Putin wants to bring discord into the triangle of Poland, Ukraine and Germany. Although Warsaw is one of Ukraine’s most vehement advocates, bilateral relations are not without tension. The dispute over exports of agricultural goods from Ukraine, which could be exacerbated by Russia’s withdrawal from the grain agreement, is just one example. Allusions to the Second World War are also no coincidence: Parliamentary elections are in Poland in the fall. And once again the governing party PiS is playing the anti-German card, which also includes the debate about reparations payments.

In addition to threatening Poland and other Western countries, Putin’s vassal Lukashenko is primarily concerned with obtaining funds from Moscow for the maintenance of the Wagner troupe, since he lacks his own resources for this.

It is understandable that such rhetoric arouses fears. But you must not give in to this. Because stirring up fear is part of Putin’s game, true to the motto: split wherever possible. He can’t get away with that.

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