Polish security agency detains two Russians for distributing propaganda

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW), acting together with the police, has detained two Russians for allegedly disseminating propaganda for the Wagner Group, the interior minister has announced.

A Russian mercenary group, Wagner has been heavily involved in the fighting in Ukraine, but its future is uncertain after it was involved in an apparent rebellion against the Kremlin in June.

Mariusz Kaminski, in his post on the X platform, wrote on Monday: "The ABW, working together with the police, has identified and detained two Russians who had been disseminating (Russian mercenary - PAP) Wagner Group propaganda materials in Krakow and Warsaw."

"Both men have been accused of spying, among other acts, and have been placed under arrest," he added.

According to the press bureau of the minister of the ABW, the two men, known only as Alexei T. and Andrei G., had in their possession over 3,000 leaflets that were given to them in Moscow and promoted the Wagner Group.

It went on to say that the men, both Russian citizens, had "placed around 300 leaflets in public areas in Krakow and Warsaw and had been commissioned to distribute the materials in several other places in both cities."

Investigators added out that the Russians had also documented their activities on an ongoing basis by photographing the places where the propaganda materials had been distributed. "Based on these photographs, they received remuneration from the Russian side," they said. "In total, they were to receive up to 500,000 Russian rubles (about EUR 4,495 - PAP) for their assigned tasks."

It was added that the Russians, after completing their tasks in Krakow and Warsaw, planned to leave Poland on August 12.

Prosecutor Karol Borcholski from the press bureau of the National Prosecutor's Office said the detainees had been charged with several crimes against the national interests of Poland.

"The activities of the suspects are part of the so-called hybrid war against the EU and Nato. The findings of the investigation show that the suspects had already carried out similar activities in other EU cities, including Berlin and Paris, and planned further activities of this type," added Borcholski.

The two men could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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