Was The Briefly Posted Polish Mobilization Notice A Premature PSA Or A Russian False Flag?

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There are reasons to doubt the veracity of this notice and to consider whether this incident cleverly advanced Russia’s strategic interests.

The state-run Polish Press Agency (PAP) briefly posted on Friday that 200,000 Poles, both former military and ordinary civilians, will be called up for partial mobilization on 1 July prior to being sent to Ukraine. It was then deleted but the same story was run twenty minutes later before that too was taken down. The Polish government denied that mobilization is being considered and blamed the incident on Russian hackers, thus resulting in a lot of confusion about what might really be going on behind the scenes.

After all, Foreign Minister Sikorski had just reaffirmed his country’s position several days prior that it won’t rule out conventionally intervening in Ukraine, which also came amidst Warsaw expressing support for Ukraine using Western arms to strike targets inside of Russia. Those two positions also followed talk that it’s considering shooting down Russian missiles over Western Ukraine. On top of that Poland has been building up its reserve capabilities since 2022, thus making PAP’s story believable.

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At the same time, however, there are reasons to doubt the veracity of that mobilization notice. The Polish Armed Forces already field around 200,000 troops, which The Times reported in February includes 148,000 active regular personnel and a 38,000-strong territorial defense force. In theory, one-third of its active troops could be enough for deploying to Western Ukraine to free up Kiev’s forces there for going to the front, while the remainder guard Poland’s borders with Kaliningrad and Belarus.

It wouldn’t make sense for Poland to send mobilized troops to Ukraine, especially those that are only ordinary civilians without the training to use arms or carry out law enforcement duties. Even in the scenario of a large-scale NATO invasion force crossing the Dnieper, that would likely be comprised of professional soldiers who could swiftly deploy there without first attracting the attention that training 200,000 conscripts would require, plus it could provoke World War III and render everything else moot.

President Putin already signaled that he expects Poland to escalate its involvement in the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine, but the earlier mentioned means through which this could occur – a conventional intervention and/or shooting down Russian missiles over Western Ukraine – are already in place. Poland’s new plan of training an unknown number of conscription-age Ukrainians that are already on its soil instead of forcibly deporting them is also more pragmatic than sending untrained Poles to fight.

For these reasons, the briefly posted Polish mobilization notice probably wasn’t a premature public service announcement but a clever false flag operation by Russia, which was made all the more believable by Poland’s own policies and statements up till that point. The intent was likely to provoke the public into reminding the ruling liberal-globalist coalition of how unpopular a conventional intervention of any sort would be after a credible poll from early March showed that less than 10% support this.

Another consequence, whether preplanned or inadvertent, is that the Polish authorities will exploit this development to further justify their new “Russian influence commission”. Sikorski earlier tried justifying this on the false pretext of implying that anyone who disagrees with his ruling coalition’s controversial socio-political agenda might be under Russian influence, especially the conservative-nationalist opposition. Now, however, he can point to a tangible example of what appears to be “Russian meddling”.

While this might seem on the surface to be against Russia’s interests, it could actually end up advancing its strategic ones if the authorities exacerbate preexisting tensions within the country by taking maximum advantage of this to persecute the opposition. In that scenario, the conservative-nationalists might become desperate enough to form a new Solidarity movement, which could take the form of nationwide protests that cripple the armed forces’ ability to intervene in Ukraine if the decision is made.

No large-scale conventional NATO intervention in Ukraine is possible without Poland’s participation, which would reasonably involve its professional soldiers instead of untrained conscripts, but this would spike the risk of World War III by miscalculation. It’s in the international community’s interests that this doesn’t happen, so it can therefore be said that Russia did everyone a favor if it was indeed responsible for Friday’s briefly posted Polish mobilization notice for the purposes that were speculated in this piece.

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