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Poland warns Russia is using Wagner troops to destabilise the region

Polish border guards patrol the area of a newly built metal wall on the border between Poland and Belarus, near Kuznice, Poland, Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Polish border guards patrol the area of a newly built metal wall on the border between Poland and Belarus, near Kuznice, Poland, Thursday, June 30, 2022. Copyright Michal Dyjuk/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Michal Dyjuk/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Greta RuffinoMagdalena Chodownik with AP
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A Wagner mercenary military exercise in Belarus has triggered warnings from Poland that Russia is deliberately trying to destabilise the border region

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Heightened border tensions between Poland and Belarus have led to a dramatic fall in visitor numbers to one of Poland’s traditional tourist attractions.

The Bialowieza forest is a national park and home to 800 European bison, but it is the 100 Russian mercenaries said to be training with the Belarus army over the border that have drawn interest in the region this summer.

On Saturday the Polish Prime Minister warned the Wagner Group soldiers had moved close to the Suwalki Gap, a strategic land corridor between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Poland sees the presence of Wagner forces as the latest in a series of provocations orchestrated by Russia to destabilise the region.

Wagner arrived in Belarus after its short-lived rebellion earlier in the summer, but there have been tensions at the border for two years since large numbers of migrants from the Middle East and Africa began arriving from the East. Poland calls this wave of migration a form of hybrid warfare.

Watch the full Euronews report from Poland in the media player above.

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