He himself now senses danger.
wPolityce: Shots were heard again from the Belarusian side of the border, shooting was fired in the direction of the Polish military. What is Belarus trying to achieve by this, what are these provocations aimed at?
Roman Polko: First of all, this is a sign of the powerlessness of the Belarusian services, which, apparently, were tasked with squeezing out migrants to Poland and (this was said on the eve of the "West" exercises) provoking the Polish military, soldiers of the territorial defense forces or border guards, but in this hybrid war Belarusians did not succeed too much. In this regard, we see an escalation of tension, even shots, which is completely unprecedented for relations between border services, because regardless of the situation, they usually interact. There are even examples from military history when representatives of the belligerents, being close to each other for a long time, simply struck up a good relationship.
- What can be expected?
- Lukashenka saw that this “human bomb”, which he wanted to use against Poland, Europe, remained with him. He himself now feels the danger, but he cannot cope with the migrants. Feeling deceived, they turn their aggression on those who brought them from Iraq and other countries for a lot of money in order to transfer them to Poland, to Lithuania. They were promised that they would go to Germany or somewhere else, but this does not happen. So tensions will increase, especially since in fact we are witnessing the implementation of Putin's scenario. This is reminiscent of Turkey's actions: groups of migrants are being thrown across the border, trying to destabilize Poland and Lithuania, undermine their authority and weaken Europe.
- Do you think this escalation will degenerate into an open armed conflict?
- Today, an armed conflict is not needed to achieve the goals. Putin is waging a hybrid war. He knows he cannot win in an open confrontation with NATO. In addition, he is too dependent on Western economies to unleash such a conflict, and economically, Russia simply cannot afford it. I'm talking about Russia because Putin is pulling the strings.
Lukashenka naively believed that Europe would succumb to blackmail and lift all sanctions, and perhaps even provide some financial assistance just to stop the flow of migrants and not bring new people, however, he miscalculated. Nevertheless, all this will continue.
- Meanwhile, provocations look spectacular and have news potential: first there were dummies of bombs, then shots. To what extent can they serve to divert the attention of Polish services, the media and the public from real Russian actions on Polish territory?
-Our forces are constantly being tested. For the Polish army, this is nothing new, but for the territorial defense troops, which are not in charge of this operation, it is almost nothing new; they've involved professionals who have faced similar crises and gained experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. But we really keep learning. The conflict will drag on for a long time, and this is exactly what could have been foreseen.