Poland arrests nine in Russian spy ring for alleged sabotage plots, PM Tusk says

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Poland has arrested nine members of a Russian spy ring in connection with alleged sabotage plots, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Monday.

“We currently have nine suspects detained and indicted, who have been directly implicated in the name of Russian (intelligence) services in acts of sabotage in Poland,” Tusk told private broadcaster TVN24.

“These are Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish citizens,” Tusk said, suggesting some may have been recruited from criminal circles.

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Those detained are accused of “beatings, arson and attempted arson,” according to Tusk, who said the Russian plots concern not just Poland, but also Lithuania, Latvia, and possibly Sweden.

An international investigation is under way, he said.

Among the examples Tusk cited was an attempt to set fire to a paint factory in Wroclaw, western Poland, as well as to an Ikea centre in Lithuania.

He said a public information information campaign on the issue would follow in the days ahead.

Earlier this month, Tusk announced the strengthening of the Polish intelligence services in the wake of Moscow’s destabilising activities, announcing that Poland would assign a further 100 million zlotys ($25 million) to civil and military counter-espionage services.

He also indicated that Warsaw had foiled several acts of sabotage, “thanks to the vigilance of our services and our allies”.

In recent weeks, Warsaw has announced the arrest of a man suspected of helping Russian intelligence prepare a possible attack on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as well as a Belarusian suspected of sponsoring a March attack on Leonid Volkov, a close friend and ally of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in Vilnius.

Warsaw also arrested two Poles who were responsible for that attack.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Warsaw has been an unconditional supporter of its Ukrainian neighbor and the main transit country for Western weapon deliveries.

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