Security chief says detained spies had not acted for long

Rafał Guz/PAP

Nine people detained by Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) on suspicion of spying for Russia had not been operating for long in the country, the government commissioner for information security told PAP on Monday.

Stanislaw Zaryn added that he was sure they had not been involved in a long-term operation.

Last week, Mariusz Kaminski, the interior minister, announced that a spy ring working for Russia had been broken up by the ABW, saying the "suspects conducted intelligence activities against Poland and were preparing acts of sabotage commissioned by Russian intelligence."

Zaryn told PAP on Monday that the suspects, who were believed to have been gathering information on arms shipments to Ukraine, had not been operating for long as Polish security services "found their trail sufficiently early to neutralise the greatest threat.”

"We for sure are not dealing with an operation lasting since the start of the war, it started recently," Zaryn said.

He went on to say the ABW was working "very dynamically" with the support of other intelligence services.

"We do not rule out that further arrests will be necessary because we are aware that the evidence in this case is huge; we are still analysing it and we will see where it leads the (security) services investigating the case to," he said. "Certainly we are not treating this investigation as closed."

Russia's main aim, Zaryn added, is to disrupt Polish-Ukrainian cooperation and Western military support for Ukraine, and the spy ring was dedicated to achieving this.

Zaryn also said no foreign security services had been involved in the suspects' detection and detention. He said that as a result of the ABW's actions, electronic equipment had been secured that was used to monitor rail routes, including video cameras, GPS transmitters and memory cards.