Suspects of espionage for Russia to be tried in Poland, says prosecutor general
Polish Internal Security Agency (Illustrative photo: EPA)

In Poland, 16 people will be tried on charges of espionage for Russia: intelligence activities, preparation of sabotage and propaganda, announced the Minister of Justice, the Public Prosecutor General of Poland, Zbigniew Ziobro.

"The Lublin prosecutor's office has just brought charges against the members of a dangerous spy network – the accused, on the order of Russian intelligence, conducted intelligence activities in seaports and military units, prepared sabotage, and also conducted propaganda activities against Poland," he wrote.

16 people will stand trial on these charges.

The suspects face 10 years in prison each, noted Ziobro.

In July, Gazeta Polska reported that the Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW) together with the country's prosecutor's office eliminated "the largest Russian intelligence network in history" operating in Poland.

From March to mid-summer, 15 people – citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine – were detained on suspicion of espionage for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Federation (GRU), the media reported.

According to the investigation, the members of the group received tasks from Moscow, and after completing them, they received a reward in cryptocurrencies (mainly bitcoins), which were then converted into cash.

REFERENCE. In mid-March 2023, nine alleged members of the spy network were revealed (Polish mass media wrote that Russia recruited Belarusians and Ukrainians, the Russians were not discovered at the time), in two weeks – three more, and at the end of June – an athlete. They operated in Subcarpathia, monitored railway tracks, operated on train routes heading towards Ukraine, where military equipment and humanitarian aid go. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Poland, the suspects were preparing for sabotage aimed at disrupting supplies.

The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the foreign intelligence body of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the central military intelligence body of the Russian Armed Forces, better known by its former name – the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

On April 6, 2022, in the Polish city of Poznan, the military police detained two citizens of Belarus who were collecting intelligence on critical military and civilian objects.

On April 12, Poland arrested a citizen of the Russian Federation and charged him with espionage for the benefit of Russian intelligence.

On July 10, it was reported that ABW detained the 15th person involved in the investigation into the activities of the group, which is suspected of spying for Russia. According to the investigation, the man, a citizen of Ukraine, monitored critical infrastructure, in particular, military facilities and seaports.