Russia is ‘planning to use Wagner fighters to attack a key strategic area on the border between Poland and Lithuania’, Putin’s crony has revealed.
A top Putin parliamentarian revealed on Russian state television that mercenaries were ready to march into the sought-after region ‘within hours’, a move that could trigger World War III.
Poland’s intelligence service, however, said it was monitoring Wagner’s mercenary threat, as Stanisław Zarin, deputy head of its special services, said there could be ‘hundreds of them now’.
The Telegraph reports, ‘Polish services are monitoring the situation to find out how many Wagnerites will end up in Belarus.’
The Suwalki Corridor is a 60-mile strip of land that straddles the border between Poland and Lithuania – and is of great strategic importance to both NATO and Russia.
For the West, it is the only land link to the three former Soviet Baltic republics – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – which are seen as vulnerable to Putin if current East-West tensions worsen.
For Russia, control of the corridor would provide a land link between the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the main base of Putin’s Baltic fleet, and staunch Kremlin ally Belarus.
Russia is threatening Wagner fighters to attack NATO’s ‘weak link’ in Poland and Lithuania ‘within hours’. Photo: Wagner’s troops en route to Belarus
Putin (pictured in June) is planning to use the army to attack the strategically important Suwalki corridor, a top crony has claimed.
Reserve Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov, now an MP who is loyal chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, told state television: ‘It is clear that Wagner [mercenary army] Went to Belarus to train the Armed Forces of Belarus.
‘[But] Not only, and not so. There are places like the Suwalki Corridor. Whatever happens, we need this Suwalki Corridor badly.
‘A strike force [based in Wagner forces in Belarus] Ready to take this corridor in a few hours.’
His ‘Shock Fist’ land grab plan will hit the sparsely populated areas identified as NATO’s ‘Achilles Hill’ or ‘soft underbelly’.
Because it may have been the first point of contact in World War III, the corridor has been labeled ‘the most dangerous place on earth’.
A Russian move here, along with state-backed Wagner, would likely trigger NATO’s Article 5, pitting the alliance against Russia.
Yet Poland is quickly recovering from threats from Moscow, and Germany will permanently deploy 4,000 troops to Lithuania as NATO bolsters its presence in the Baltic states.
The latest incendiary move from Russia comes less than 24 hours after Putin claimed that Russia had ‘sufficient stockpiles’ of cluster munitions that he threatened to use if Ukraine deployed the disputed weapons.
In an interview on Sunday, Putin said: ‘So far we haven’t done it, we haven’t used it and we didn’t need to.’
Top Putin parliamentarian Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov revealed on state television that Wagner’s forces were ready to advance into the sought-after area ‘within several hours’.
The Suwalki Corridor is a 60-mile strip of land across the border between Poland and Lithuania
Cluster bombs open in the air and release many smaller bombs – but they have a high ‘dude’ rate, meaning they often leave behind unexploded fragments that can harm civilians after the war is over.
The U.S. has sent bulk munitions to aid the war in Ukraine and is seen as a way to get much-needed ammunition to Kiev to bolster its offensive against Russian forces.
Thousands of Wagner soldiers have arrived in Belarus in recent days. More were seen today on roads leading to the landlocked state in Russia’s Lipetsk region.
On 24 June an agreement was reached to transfer the troops to Belarus after Wagner ended their armed rebellion.
Putin claimed on Sunday that Russia has a ‘significant stockpile’ of cluster bombs (remnants of weapons with cluster munitions pictured in Toresk, Ukraine in December).
The munitions, which are bombs that open in the air and drop a number of smaller bombs, are seen by the US as a way to give Kiev badly needed ammunition to bolster its offensive and push into Russia’s front lines.
The use of cluster bombs by both Russia (some photos) and Ukraine has been widely documented, and cluster rounds were found after the Russian attack.
Disgraced Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was exiled to the country after sensationally abandoning his group’s march to Moscow, just 120 miles from the capital.
The ‘armed uprising’ saw the group seize the town of Rostov and march on the capital for 24 hours.
Prigogine announced that when his men were only 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Moscow, he decided to turn them back to avoid ‘shedding Russian blood’.
Belarusian President Lukashenko then said he had negotiated a deal with Prigogine.
However, earlier this week a former US general claimed the Wagner rebels were either dead or in one of Putin’s gulags after the coup.
Retired General Robert Abrams told ABC News he doubted ‘we’ll see him again’.
Putin has meanwhile ‘purged’ three more generals as the Russian leader seeks to root out those he suspects are his enemies, the Telegram reported today.
This will bring the total number of dismissals, suspensions, detentions or absences to 11.
The Telegram channel Verum Regnum commented on the ax of Bloody Sunday, saying: ‘At this moment, the fate of the army is being decided, and then the fate of the country.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner’s mercenaries, left the headquarters of the Southern Military District amid the group’s withdrawal from the city of Rostov-on-Don on 24 June.
Reports indicate that Major-General Alexander Kornev (pictured), 46, has been removed from command of the 7th Airborne Assault Division.
Photo: Major-General Ramil Ebatulin, 46, commander of the 90th Panzer Division
Commander of the Airborne Forces Mikhail Teplinsky, left, pictured with Vladimir Putin during his spring 2023 visit to the currently occupied territory of Ukraine’s Luhansk region
‘If the military officers manage to concentrate their power, trample down all the shoots of initiative and professional honor among the soldiers, destroy the last born heroes. [in the conflict against Ukraine]The glorious end of the war is coming.’
The regular army has been rumored to be moving against Putin in the wake of Wagner’s mutiny last month.
Reports indicate that Major-General Alexander Kornev, 46, has been removed from command of the 7th Airborne Assault Division.
Unconfirmed claims also suggested the troops were trying to save Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, 54, and had recorded a message threatening paratroopers with a mutiny if he was captured.
Separate reports said that Major-General Ramil Ebatulin, 46, commander of the 90th Panzer Division, and two of his deputies were detained on the pretext of financial irregularities.
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