Poland Raids Russian Spy Network Targeting EU Countries

Thu Mar 28 2024
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WARSAW: Polish security services announced Thursday that they had conducted raids on a Russian spy network in collaboration with Czech intelligence, following the previous day’s bust of a major Russian propaganda network by Czech authorities.

According to statements from the Polish Internal Security Agency, the raids were part of an investigation into espionage activities aimed at European Union countries and institutions, with a focus on implementing the Kremlin’s foreign policy objectives. The operations, which included raids in Warsaw and Tychy, were coordinated with various European services, particularly the Czech partners.

The agency’s spokesman, Jacek Dobrzynski, stated that the spy network’s objectives included weakening Poland’s global position, discrediting Ukraine, and tarnishing the image of EU institutions. The crackdown stemmed from an investigation initiated earlier this year, which resulted in charges against a Polish citizen suspected of espionage for Russia. This person, embedded in Polish and EU parliamentary circles, was allegedly carrying out tasks commissioned and funded by Russian intelligence, including propaganda activities, disinformation campaigns, and political provocations aimed at expanding Russian influence in Europe.

Czech Dismantles Russian Spy Network

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic revealed on Wednesday its dismantling of a Moscow-backed network engaged in spreading Russian propaganda and influencing European affairs, notably through the Prague-based Voice of Europe news site. The network reportedly sought to dissuade the European Union from providing aid to Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia. In response, Prague sanctioned the Voice of Europe and two pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politicians involved in the network’s activities.

The Voice of Europe allegedly paid European politicians from several countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Poland, to publish statements discouraging EU assistance to Ukraine. This revelation underscores the wide-ranging influence operations conducted by Russia across Europe, as noted by a spokeswoman for the German interior ministry, who emphasized the ongoing efforts of security authorities to investigate and counter such activities.

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