Wagner troops in Belarus want to visit Poland to exact revenge for Ukraine support, claims Lukashenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, attend a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (Alexander Demianchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly told Vladimir Putin on Sunday that mercenaries from the Wagner Group now stationed in Belarus “are keen to take a trip to Warsaw and Rzeszów” to take revenge for Poland’s military help to Ukraine, according to reports in the Polish media.

The pair met in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg over the weekend, and Lukashenko brought with him a map showing the deployment of Polish troops, which he argued proved Poland was preparing to attack Belarus.

He also told Putin of the Wagner Group’s eagerness to punish Poles for their unwavering support of Ukraine during the ongoing conflict. Both the Polish capital of Warsaw and the southeastern city of Rzeszów, a NATO hub for the supply of arms and munitions for Ukraine, were reportedly cited as possible targets.

Poland has increased the number of troops on its border with Belarus to counteract any moves by Wagner troops and to help border guards in their effort to combat the illegal migration being facilitated by Belarusian authorities. 

Lukashenko claimed the Wagner troops were putting pressure on him to allow them to enter Poland. He said they were “keen to take a trip” there as they knew all too well where the weapons Ukrainians used in attacks on the Wagner Group troops in Bakhmut came from.

The Belarusian president added that for the time being he was making sure they stayed in central Belarus “as had been agreed” but told Putin that the men were angry and wanted to take action. 

Lukashenko also repeated the Kremlin’s claims about Warsaw’s plans to seize the west of Ukraine. According to the Belarusian leader, this is to be Poland’s reward for engaging against Russia.

He went on to claim that the West was planning to allow parts of Ukraine to join NATO and that Minsk “was ready to help western Ukraine if necessary.”

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