: RFE/RL: Poland to recruit 35,000 for paramilitary force to counter Russia

18:33 Jun. 3, 2016

RFE/RL: Poland to recruit 35,000 for paramilitary force to counter Russia

Antoni Macierewicz at the 22nd Polish Air Force Base in Malbork, Poland. (GettyImages)

Warsaw is willing to avoid scenario hybrid warfare conducted in Ukraine - Defence Ministry

Poland says it will start recruiting in September for a new 35,000-strong paramilitary force amid tensions with Russia. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on June 2 that the force's command structure and senior appointments had already been decided. Priority in deployment will be given to eastern provinces deemed to be the most exposed to Russian pressure.

Read also NATO prepares to deploy 4000 troops near Russia

Comprising civilian volunteers trained in military skills, officials said the force is aimed at countering "hybrid warfare" of the kind that Western officials say Russia used to seize Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support separatists in the country's east.

Read also 'It's time to talk openly about Russia's aggression' - Polish Defence Minister

In April, Macierewicz said the new paramilitary force was needed because Poland "is threatened by the actions of our neighbor Russia, which makes no secret of its aggressive intentions."

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