Monthly Incident Report: March 2023
On March 16, officials from the Road Transport Inspection Authority (ITD), National Revenue Administration (KAS), Border Guard, Chief Labor Inspectorate, and construction supervision entered 60 transport companies. Inspectors were looking for links with Belarusian and Russian money. The last time such spectacular raids took place was in the late 1990s, when many companies were connected with the Pruszkow mafia.
Sometimes, several different transport firms were registered under the same address, founded by people from Belarus and Russia. This is a clear indication that the companies were just shell companies set up to obtain national permits for operating in the European Union. ITD inspectors conducted checks of companies, checking required documents, drivers’ and carriers’ licenses, as well as documentation related to the vehicle fleet. Border guards focused on working conditions and the legality of stay. KAS officials checked tax settlements of companies, and District Building Supervision Inspectors focused on issues related to facilities, particularly whether they were legally built and whether they were being used and operated in accordance with the regulations.
Further inspections have already been announced.
At least 50 electronic devices for espionage were installed by a network of agents working on behalf of Russian intelligence, which was dismantled by the ABW. The eliminated group monitored military-assisted transports for Ukraine and was preparing sabotage operations in Poland.
The detainees were monitoring railway routes as part of their tasks, including reconnaissance and monitoring of transports carrying weapons intended for Ukraine. The suspects were also preparing for sabotage operations aimed at paralyzing the supplies of equipment and assistance to Ukraine. The officers secured electronic equipment, transmitters, and GPS devices that were to be installed on transports to Ukraine,” said Minister Kamiński.At the same time, the head of MSWiA emphasized that the detainees also operated in other areas. “The group was also tasked with propaganda activities aimed at destabilizing Polish-Ukrainian relations, fueling and fomenting anti-NATO sentiment in Poland, and attacking the Polish government’s policy towards Ukraine,” Kamiński stated.
The ABW has evidence that the suspects were regularly remunerated by Russian intelligence services. As part of intelligence operations, members of the group were paid systematically for the tasks they carried out. The case is ongoing.
On March 21, the Military Counterintelligence Service arrested another foreigner who was charged with conducting espionage activities for Russian intelligence. The suspect obtained information about critical infrastructure in the Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodships, as well as services and agencies responsible for security. During the interrogation, he confessed and described the details of his cooperation with the Russians.
The Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland announced that Poland will no longer provide Belarus with data on its military, as required by the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). The CFE Treaty was signed on November 19, 1990 in Paris by 22 states that were members of the Warsaw Pact and NATO. The treaty introduced quantitative limitations on military equipment in Europe (from the Atlantic to the Urals) in five categories: tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft and helicopters. To prevent the concentration of weapons, their number was limited in the so-called flank zones. According to the agreement, information exchange and extensive control measures were provided. Its goal was to reduce tension in the region by providing control over military assets.
The Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazanski published on social media a fragment of an interview with Russian parliamentarian Konstantin Zatulin. During the interview, Zatulin spoke about the necessity of punishing Poland for its assistance to Ukraine, and he specifically mentioned the city of Rzeszów as the target of the punishment.
Zatulin suggested that terrorist attacks should be organized in the capital of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, but in such a way that the perpetrators could not be identified. He argued that a missile attack on Rzeszów would be too dangerous for Russia, and therefore a terrorist attack that could be denied responsibility would be more appropriate.