23 January 2018, Tuesday, 3:09

Marek Bucko: Putin wants to attack Poland


Russia would like to repeat the invasion of Poland.

Marek Bucko, a former first secretary of the Polish Embassy in Minsk and deputy chairman of the Polish foundation Freedom and Democracy, said it in an interview with charter97.org.

– Last week, the Baltic Fleet held large-scale military exercises in the Kaliningrad region with the Russian Airborne Troops and the Air Forces. How does Poland think about it?

– Of course, all exercises carried out both by NATO and Russia are a form of demonstrating the force, combat readiness and military potential. At the same time, it's a long distance from maneuvers to any incidents. We got used to Russia's exercises, including those with Belarus in the Hrodna and Kaliningrad regions. The Poles got used to threats of a nuclear strike from Russia. Nevertheless, the exercises are not a friendly step towards Poland.

– Does it mean that the Poles should not worry and fear the repetition of the tragic events of 1939? Western politicians have said several times that Russia is ready to attack even NATO countries.

– I would not draw this analogy, but there are no doubts that a greater part of representatives of today's Russia would like to repeat the invasion of Poland if they could. I think many of them also remember 1920 and the inglorious defeat of the Bolsheviks near Warsaw. They intended to occupy entire Europe, but Poland stopped them. Of course, they had, have and will have the imperial despair, and Putin has this disease for sure. We are lucky that it's a long way from such dreams to their fulfillment.

– Putin didn't fear to occupy Crimea and he attacked the Donbas region. Don't you think he is capable of everything after that, including attacking Poland?

– The current situation is that Putin has become a hostage of expectations he awoke in Russian society. It means that he seized Crimea in no time, and many Russians expect further actions from him. Appetite comes with eating, as people say. If Putin does not fulfill the expectations he awoke, it may have a sad end for him. There's a thin line between love and hate. The angry crowd may depose him. By the way, most Poles wish it. Anyway, we'll soon see what will happen. I think Russia's economy is under strong pressure of western sanctions, so Putin is unlikely to escalate the situation farther than the Donbas region.