Episode 42

Belarus Enters Polish Airspace & more – 8th Aug 2023

Belarus in Polish airspace, more army units to the Belarusian border, big military parade in Warsaw, the problems in Polish-Ukrainian relations, health minister’s scandal, and much more!

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 8th of August twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

On Wednesday, the 2nd, reporters stated that the Polish army sent extra helicopters to the Belarusian border after two Belarusian helicopters crossed into Polish airspace. After the incident, the foreign ministry summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Belarus to give a diplomatic note. Also, the defense ministry informed NATO about the incident. The Polish prime minister said that "Belarus was stepping up their numerous provocations in order to destabilize the border of NATO's eastern flank".

To discuss the incident, Poland's Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin held a phone call. Reporters stated that the topic of the talk included Belarusian incursions into Polish airspace as well as issues related to the security of Poland and NATO's eastern flank. Austin expressed the US’ firm support for Poland’s response to the incident.

On Friday, the 4th, the opposition and a commander criticized the government’s response to the Belarusian incursion into Polish airspace. Donald Tusk, the leader of the opposition, the Civic Platform party, stated that the government was not able to respond to the incident properly. Also, a general from the army stated that Poland should have responded to the Belarusian helicopters with F-16 fighter jets. He thinks the incursion did not meet with enough military response from the Polish side.

Amid the threat from Belarus…

On Thursday, the 3rd, Poland and Lithuania agreed that they will close their borders with Belarus if further provocations at the border take place. With the agreement, Poland and Lithuania ensured their close relations in fighting against the Russian and Belarusian threats.

On Wednesday, the 2nd, an American think tank stated that Wagner soldiers in Belarus pose no threat to Poland. In recent weeks, government officials have been warning about a possible Wagner attack on Poland from Belarus. Yet, the Institute for the Study of War, a US think tank, states that Wagner soldiers in Belarus do not have the capacity to conduct an attack on another country because they do not have enough equipment or soldiers currently.

On Friday, the 4th, Security Forces detained another Belarusian who was working as a Russian spy. They detained a thirty-nine-year-old man who kept a low profile and took precautions so as not to be identified and tracked. The man’s target was the reconnaissance of military facilities and ports and the tracking of army supplies to Ukraine. Authorities continue their operation against Russian and Belarusian spies in the country.

On Monday, the 7th, Poland’s Border Guard agency urgently asked for more troops from the government to station on the Belarusian border to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants. The agency reported increasing attempts to cross into Poland in recent days. The request came after a group of immigrants smashed a Polish police car’s windows.

On the same day, President Andrzej Duda personally visited army bases on the Baltic Sea coasts after Russia started its naval exercises in the region. This Wednesday, the 2nd, the Russian army started a military drill in the Baltic Sea with six thousand troops. The Polish army closely monitored the drill. Reporters stated that tensions in the region remain high as both military drills and diplomatic engagements continue to shape the dynamics between Russia and Poland.

On that note about the military….

A Europe-wide study showed that 79% of Poles declared their readiness to protect their neighboring countries if a war broke out. Out of many European countries, Poland is more willing to defend its neighbors against aggression than other countries. Besides, for instance, eighty percent of participating Poles stated that all men should have basic military training, while only fifty-seven percent of Germans think so.

On Tuesday, the 8th, the government announced that Poland will hold a big military parade on the 15th of August to mark Armed Forces Day. More than ninety airplanes, and helicopters, 200 military vehicles, and over two thousand troops will take part in the event in Warsaw. The 15th of August marks Poland’s landmark victory against the Russian Bolsheviks in the nineteen twenty Battle of Warsaw.

This week, relations with Ukraine went through ups and downs…

On Saturday, the 5th, Poland attended the Ukraine peace talks in Saudi Arabia along with thirty-nine other countries. During the meeting, Poland supported Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's ten-point formula for a peace settlement. The plan included energy security, responsibility for war crimes, and territorial integrity as the basis for any future peace settlement. Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw welcomed and thanked Poland for its participation in the talks in Saudi Arabia.

However, the grain ban on Ukraine continues to pose a blow to relations between the two countries.

On Wednesday, the 2nd, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Ukraine’s summoning of the Polish ambassador to Ukraine on the issue of the grain ban. The Ukrainian foreign ministry summoned the Polish ambassador after a Polish official stated that the grain ban on Ukraine would be extended. The Polish foreign ministry condemned the summoning of the Polish Ambassador since “summoning an ambassador is a very harsh measure of reaction in bilateral relations.”

Let’s not skip the election debate as the election date is approaching…

On Sunday, the 6th, Jarosław Kaczyński, the deputy prime minister, asked for votes from Poles by criticizing the EU and the opposition. He said that the EU is under the control of Germany, probably because of economic reasons, and if the opposition becomes the government, the EU will have a greater influence on Poland. Recall that when the opposition was in power the administration had closer relationships with the EU. He said that Poles will not be able to enter Polish forests freely because the EU will privatize them through an opposition government.

Speaking of the ruling party…

On Tuesday, the 8th, reporters stated that Adam Niedzielski, the minister of health, may resign from his position because he revealed one doctor's personal information online. This week, one doctor on a TV channel complained about the hardship of prescribing painkillers to patients because of a recent regulation. Afterward, to give a response, the health minister shared his prescriptions to prove that it is possible to prescribe painkillers. Yet he also revealed the doctor’s personal information, including his name and where he works. This incident caused a reaction from the ruling party as well. Reporters expect that the ruling party will ask for his resignation from his post in the next few days.

In unrelated news,

The parliament has passed a bill to raise the electricity consumption threshold, meaning Poles will have a better chance to use more electricity at cheaper prices. Experts stated that a family may save up to 900 dollars a year on their electricity bill.

And to close this edition, on Saturday, the 5th, a man with a rotten hand terrorized the inhabitants of Wroclaw. A homeless beggar forced the residents to give him money, he threatened to hit them with his rotten hand if they did not do so. People who encountered that man were scared and gave him money not to get infected. The man also refused the help of doctors to heal his hand. In the end, the police detained him, and now the court will impose a sentence.

Aaaaand that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

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