Internal Security Agency detains 16th suspected Russian spy - minister

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) has seized a 16th suspected Russian spy in the latest of a series of counterintelligence operations, the interior minister announced on Friday.

Mariusz Kaminski, who is also the coordinator of Poland's special security services, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter):

"ABW has detained another, already the 16th, person suspected of participation in a Russian spy network. The Belarusian Mikhail A. took part in the reconnaissance of military buildings and ports. He also carried out propaganda activities on behalf of Russia. He has been placed under arrest."

Kaminski's press office highlighted that 15 suspects have already been detained in the case, all of whom have been placed under arrest by a court. The Gazeta Polska weekly reported earlier that ABW had detained the suspects between March and July this year and charged them with espionage for Russian military intelligence (GRU). They are citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, Gazeta Polska added.

According to the weekly, this is the largest Russian spy network that has ever operated in Poland.

"Intensive activity of ABW has enabled the identification of a sabotage spy network," Kaminski's press office said.

The network is reported to have been engaged in the reconnaissance of military facilities and critical infrastructure as well as in monitoring and documenting the transport of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Its members are also alleged to have been preparing the derailment of trains carrying aid to Ukraine, acts of arson and the beatings of individuals.

Members of the network are also accused of conducting propaganda activities aimed at sowing discord in Polish society against Ukrainians and the assistance they have received from Poland.

Kaminski's press office said the actions of ABW officers were progressing and developing dynamically.

"ABW continues its actions aimed at establishing the details of the spy network's activities and identifying all the people connected with it," the office said. "Further detentions in the case are not being ruled out."

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