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The “Polish Volunteer Corps” Boasted About Raiding Russia In Order To Boost The Ruling Party
One would ordinarily expect that nationals from a NATO-member state would deny participating in such a Hybrid War provocation out of fear that admitting to it would extend credence to the Kremlin’s claim of being in a proxy war with that bloc.
Poland’s ruling “Law & Justice” (PiS) party is fighting for its political life ahead of this fall’s elections in the face of the formidable challenge posed to them by the “Civic Platform” (PO) opposition. The double-digit inflation that’s afflicting the economy as a result of the anti-Russian sanctions obviously erodes support for the incumbents. Some of their conservative-nationalist base might also defect to the anti-establishment Confederation party to protest PiS’ betrayal of their principles over the past 15 months.
At the same time, PO’s supporters are inspired to reverse PiS’ policies towards polarizing socio-cultural issues like abortion, immigration, and LGBT. Not only that, but they’re also driven by opposition to what they regard as the ruling party’s anti-democratic tendencies, especially its recent creation of an unprecedentedly powerful so-called “Russian influence commission”. The EU and US expressed concern that this body could be exploited to persecute PO, which prompted PiS to propose amendments.
Regardless of whether those found guilty of contributing to “Russian influence” are banned from the next elections or not, this move is clearly meant to manipulate voters’ perceptions of the opposition in order to give the ruling party a boost at the polls. It’s not the only pre-election stunt that PiS has carried out, however, since prior ones include demanding reparations from Germany, seizing Russian Embassy property, renaming Kaliningrad, and pleading for Zelensky to condemn Bandera’s genocide of Poles.
What they all have in common is their attempt to appeal to Polish nationalism by making people think that PiS has successfully restored their country’s long-lost status as a Great Power that must once again be taken seriously by all its neighbors. The impression is that Poland will finally seek historical justice from Germany and Ukraine while also showing Russia that it won’t be pushed around. Accordingly, the innuendo is that those who still don’t support PiS are allegedly against Poland’s national interests.
It's within this artificially manufactured narrative context that the “Polish Volunteer Corps” (PVC) just boasted about their involvement in a raid against Russia late last month. One would ordinarily expect that nationals from a NATO-member state would deny participating in such a Hybrid War provocation out of fear that admitting to it would extend credence to the Kremlin’s claim of being in a proxy war with that bloc.
After all, the PVC kept quiet about their role in this terrorist attack for nearly two weeks, presumably for that reason despite earlier reports that some Poles were involved. The timing of their boast is therefore suspicious since they could have taken credit right away instead of waiting until now. This observation leads to speculation that the PVC’s statement was triggered by something important that happened in the interim, namely PiS’ creation of the “Russian influence commission” and the resultant scandal.
The ruling party wrongly thought that it could persecute the West’s liberal-globalist allies on an anti-Russian pretext since the prevailing climate of “political correctness” makes it unpopular to condemn any efforts undertaken in the name of exposing that country’s alleged influence operations. PiS’ miscalculation was in ignoring the importance of ideological solidarity among the Western elite, which explains why the EU and US still condemned Poland despite its leading role in the proxy war on Russia.
Those two’s words were interpreted by PO’s supporters as a dog whistle to organize large-scale protests against PiS, which took place in Warsaw on Sunday to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Poland’s first free elections since World War II. An estimated half-million people participated in this event, which was meant to galvanize the opposition ahead of this fall’s elections. The sequence of Western rhetoric leading to anti-government protests was predictable, however, which leads to the next point.
Upon foreseeing this, PiS’ backers in Poland’s military-intelligence services probably signaled to the PVC that they should finally claim credit for raiding Russia late last month in order to reaffirm the ruling party’s nationalist credentials and deflect from the criticism of its newly formed commission. Nothing else other than the latest domestic political context that only emerged after the aforementioned terrorist attack cogently accounts for why that group just broke its silence.
This hypothesis aligns with the ruling party’s record of carrying out nationalist pre-election stunts designed to make Poles think that their country has finally restored its long-lost Great Power status, with the innuendo being that those who still don’t support PiS are against Poland’s national interests. In this case, however, the incumbents selfishly sacrificed their NATO allies’ soft power interests by discrediting the prior “plausible deniability” regarding the involvement of member-states’ nationals in that attack.
It was already bad enough that Western equipment was captured in Russia afterwards, not to mention that the ethnic Russian proxies employed by Kiev struggled to stick to the script that they operated independently, but the role of NATO nationals makes everything much worse for the West’s narrative. There’s now no denying that this bloc is waging a proxy war on Russia through Ukraine with the goal of Balkanizing that targeted Great Power exactly as the Kremlin has claimed from the very beginning.
In pursuit of its own domestic political goals, PiS just threw NATO’s larger soft power ones under the bus, which risks angering the alliance’s American leader even more than it already is. Washington has thus far done its utmost to keep up the charade that the West is opposed to Kiev’s attacks within Russia’s pre-2014 territory, which officials have unconvincingly claimed are always done without its knowledge, but that’s now impossible to do after the PVC boasted about its involvement in last month’s terrorist attack.
Few in the Western public believe that their compatriots would raid Russia without receiving some signal of approval from their government first, which is why many were reluctant to believe the earlier reports that Polish nationals were involved in that particular incident. They truly thought that their authorities were helping Ukraine “defend itself” and thus wouldn’t voluntarily surrender the so-called “moral high ground” by supporting cross-border operations that discredit their side’s soft power.
While Warsaw officially claims that “The activities of Polish volunteers supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia should not be identified with the authorities of the Republic of Poland”, this isn’t believable considering the sequence of events that preceded the PVC’s boast as was explained. The only realistic reason why that mercenary group spilled the beans about their involvement in the first place and subsequently discredited NATO’s “plausible deniability” narrative was because PiS signaled them to.
The incumbents are going all out in pushing their nationalist credentials ahead of this fall’s elections, hence why they took the previously unthinkable step of indirectly revealing to the world that Warsaw supported late May’s proxy invasion of Russia. This latest pre-election stunt is PiS most reckless by far since it sacrificed their NATO allies’ soft power interests in parallel with worsening the Kremlin’s threat perception of that bloc, both of which could lead to unpredictable consequences for Poland.