• Rafał Barnaś

A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INFLUENCE OF RUSSIAN SECRET SERVICES IN POLAND

Rafał Barnaś

Warsaw / February 14, 2021




In Poland, the message from public media controlled by the government is that Poland has never been so safe, that Germany will finally stop using us as a cheap labor force, that our economy has never been so strong, that we finally “got up from our knees” …


However, quite a few independent observers of political life tend to notice more and more often the progressive chaos and inertia that polarize our society, weaken our defense and economy, and, above all, create an atmosphere of lawlessness.


So, where is the truth? Well… there are several questions that arise spontaneously.


Well, the democratic changes that took place after 1989 were supposed to presume that Poland found its way back into Western civilization. The USSR, which lost the Cold War, withdrew its influence from Central and Eastern Europe. Russia which was restored on the ruins of the Soviet Union in the 90ies played no role in the international arena its influence in Poland being practically invisible.

But was it really as good as it looked?


Do we really believe that Russian special services including the GRU (Glavnoe Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, previously known as Main Intelligence Directorate) and the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki or Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation) refrained from carrying out any actions to weaken and discredit Poland in the eyes of her new allies?

Do we believe that Russia ceased to consider Poland a territory of its influence? Recent events have clearly demonstrated that this is far from the case.


The first visible piece of action by the Russian secret services in Poland was the Olin Affair. At the end of December 1995, Polish Minister of the Interior, Andrzej Milczanowski, accused our Prime Minister Józef Oleksy of acting as an agent for Russia. That event caused a huge political crisis. With time, however, it turned out that no evidence of Milczanowski's espionage activity has been found. Marian Zacharski, who was in charge of the entire operation, made a series of glaring mistakes, while his confidence led him to being manipulated by the Russians and blindly believing all the information they were providing. As a result, Zacharski left for Switzerland, where he living to this day.


The Olin scandal was launched and performed to discredit Poland in the eyes of her Western partners and delay Poland’s accession to NATO, which finally took place only on March 12, 1999.


Another example of the activities of Russian secret services in Poland is the case of Catholic Radio Maryja.

Here a question may arise: could the SVR use any mass medium other than Catholic one for its intelligence operations in a country where Roman Catholics comprise pore than 90% of its total population?

In the 90ies, when Radio Maryja started broadcasting, the Polish- Russian relations were very tense. In addition to the political tensions, there was practically no economic exchange between the two nations. Nevertheless, in Russian Federation Radio Maryja was using radio frequencies belonging to the Russian military? Who and why could have consented to that?


It is a common knowledge that the currently ruling party of Poland largely owes its electoral victory to the propaganda efforts of Radio Maryja. Every year, all the influential politicians of the ruling party take part in the Radio Maryja's "birthday party" hosted by its founder Tadeusz Rydzyk. In addition to that, millions of zlotys in grants are regularly transferred to the account of the Tadeusz Rydzyk's foundation from the state budget.


But who is that Father Rydzyk? Why do the most important politicians of the ruling party treat him as their spiritual guide? Why are Tadeusz Rydzyk's finances are exempt from the state control? And, finally, what does Father Rydzyk have in common with Russia? Don’t all these questions sound disturbing by themselves?


The next big question arises in connection with with the disclosure of secret documents of the Institute of National Remembrance that caused enormous damage to Polish state security. Those documents included the data collected by our intelligence officers before 1989, various pieces of information obtained from personal sources and other sensitive data. The main initiator of that "project" was Antoni Macierewicz, an activist of the democratic opposition. In addition to the disclosure of secret documents and classified information, Mr. Macierewicz's decisions in his capacity of the Minister of National Defense in 2015-2018 led to the greatest collapse of the Polish army since World War II.


What motivated Antoni Macierewicz to do what he did? Did the Russian secret services, anticipating the collapse of communism, aim at recruiting the former communist politicians or were they instead looking for agents among opposition activists who were to take power one day?


Within the 5-year period, the current government has destabilized the legal system of Poland in the name of "seeking justice". The Constitutional Tribunal to which controversial people

were appointed, famous for their servility and lack of independence, became politicized, and that, in turn, made that important institution discredited.


While acknowledging the above it is hard not to ask more and more questions. For example, did the Russian secret services play a role in the destruction of the Polish legal system? Or will we ever know more about the connections of our pro-life activists who wreak havoc and chaos all over Poland, as well as about their financial sources?


What has been happening in Poland for the last several years is not in line with the Polish national interests. We are witnessing a gradual indoctrination of our society, which leads to its fracture and provokes mutual hostility between Poles. It also leads to devaluation of the European Union in general and of our most important trading partners such as Germany or France, in particular.


But why is that happening to us? Is it due to the ineptitude of politicians or is it a result of the destructive influence of paid agents and useful idiots controlled from the Kremlin?


One thing is for sure. The current events in Poland are in favor of Moscow. Russia wants Poland to be cut off from the European Union and NATO, and it is also interested in dividing the Polish society for the sake of weakening our statehood.


And here the final question arises: Can we do something to somehow rectify this grave situation or is it too late to do anything about it?

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