Sergey Naryshkin is a name many in the west are not familiar with but probably should be: he is the current head of Russian foreign intelligence, the SVR. Today, April 28th, Naryshkin accused Poland of planning to occupy western Ukrainian territories which have historically been part of Poland. Public statements from the SVR are rare so there is not much of a track record of accuracy to compare them to. Naryshkin also did not provide evidence for the claim but said:
According to preliminary agreements, it would be conducted without a NATO mandate, but with a ‘coalition of interested’ states. Warsaw has not yet been able to gather any potential participants for this ‘coalition of the willing’.
TASS and Reuters didn’t provide the full text so we had to track it down. It appears the original format of the release was not as a speech but as a simple announcement on their government site which can be found in full here. The claims made are remarkable and should be read in their entirety but this section is particularly noteworthy:
Polish special services are already searching for “negotiable” representatives of the Ukrainian elite to form a Warsaw-oriented “democratic” counterweight to nationalists.
According to the calculations of the Polish administration, preventive consolidation in the west of Ukraine is likely to lead to a split in the country. At the same time, Warsaw will essentially receive under the management of territories that will include “Polish peacekeepers”.
In fact, we are talking about an attempt to repeat the historical “deal” for Poland after the First World War, when the collective West, represented by the Entente, recognized Warsaw’s right first to occupy part of Ukraine to protect the population from the “Bolshevik threat”, and then to include these territories in the Polish state. The events that followed were a clear illustration of the colonial order and forced Polonization as the main methods of building a “Greater Poland.”
Reuters, true to form as the main Jewish, Western press apparatus, did not deem most of these details fit to print. In particular, Reuters leaves out the very specific characterization of the Polish plans that the Russians attributed to them, instead replacing them with rambling about the Russian framing of their own military action. Reuters:
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West says this a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by Putin.
Thank you, Jews, very cool. As a brief aside, yes, Reuters is a very Jewish organization. It’s actually somewhat hard to tell who the current president of Reuters is but, without going too far down that rabbit hole, we determined that recent presidents have been Friedenberg and Adler. The founder of Reuters named the company after himself but only after changing his name from Israel Beer Josaphat to Paul Reuter and converting from Judaism to Christianity. Someone is going to ask and the answer is “yes,” his father was a rabbi.
Naryshkin’s claims, while extraordinary, are made more plausible by the extraordinary times in eastern Europe. Polish military exercises were announced just two hours after the SVR press release and many commenters took this to be proof of a Polish military adventure. Small press agencies and twitter “OSINT” types have highlighted the wording of the Polish press release as something meriting concern: the Polish MoD has asked citizens not to photograph the convoys and has warned the public to expect large convoys moving at night. These agencies and accounts have also focused on troop movements in the north and east of Poland which would put them close to both Russian Kaliningrad and Ukrainian Lviv. While that certainly sounds alarming, Poland also announced convoys on the German border and in the center of the country. Poland characterizes the movements as part of “this year’s training program of the Polish Armed Forces.” We were unable to verify if these drills are regular at this time of year or if Spring regularity is implied in the Polish original wording but will update the article once we have contacted our Polish correspondent.
Some press agencies also reported in such a way that a glancing read would link the Poles to Romanian exercises on the border of Moldova. If the moves were in fact linked, it would not necessarily undermine the Russian narrative that Poland has found no partners for the alleged occupation of western Ukraine.
There is almost no information about the scope of the Romanian exercises and not much more about the Polish exercises at time of writing (evening in U.S., April 28th) but the events of recent days may provide some insight:
- On April 26th, NATO held a summit at Ramstein Airbase with all EU and NATO members as well as Israel, Australia, Kenya, and Tunisia. They made several public announcements including the supply of German anti-aircraft armored vehicles and the creation of a “contact group” of partner states for the Ukraine crisis.
- Yesterday, April 27th, Poland and Bulgaria were cut off from Russian natural gas after refusing to pay in rubles. Other countries have deadlines to pay coming in early May but the contracts are technically private, basically meaning everyone but the public knows when the next countries will be shut off. Germany and Italy are by far the largest European consumers of Russian natural gas and are generally expected to buy with rubles using the roundabout method of sending Euros to Gazprom who then convert it to rubles on their end. Should they go the route of Poland and refuse even this face-saving method, Germany is expected to immediately enter severe economic decline. Additionally, as we hypothesized yesterday on our telegram page, Gazprom’s rules for Poland seem to cover Germans selling gas back to Poland: Gazprom says any unauthorized openings of the Polish valves will result in the exact amount of LNG being withheld from the pipeline overall. This would of course cover outright Polish theft but also German backflows to Poland being arranged with Euros between Germany and Poland.
With so little concrete information, it is not clear what we can expect in the first half of May. There are, however, two notable dates that could influence the course of events:
May 1st is a major European holiday, particularly in the former USSR. This is the same day the Polish exercises are scheduled to begin. May 9th is a major holiday in Russia as it commemorates the 1945 defeat of Germany. Russia is expected to make some major announcement during the celebrations with speculation ranging from annexation of Donbas to an official declaration of war on Ukraine. A Polish presence in Ukraine prior to May 9th would complicate any extension of Russian war goals beyond Donbas in ways that are hard to predict. Updates on EU economies and Russian war aims can be found at our telegram page.