Russia out to sow chaos, destabilize Poland: security expert
Russia is pumping out propaganda and spreading fake news in an effort to sow chaos and destabilize decision making in Poland, a security expert has said.
Stanisław ŻarynPAP/Paweł Supernak
Moscow’s disinformation campaign aims to undermine the national interests of its western neighbour, Stanisław Żaryn, spokesman for Poland’s security services chief, said.
“The current activities of Russia against Poland are aimed to sow information chaos to destabilize decision-making processes that secure our national interests, but are a pain in Russia’s neck,” Żaryn was quoted as saying on Tuesday in a media interview.
He told Polish newsweekly Sieci in an interview that “for Russia, waging information or hybrid warfare is a typical activity of the state or even part of its diplomatic efforts.”
Żaryn, who also serves as director of the National Security Department at the Polish Prime Minister’s Office, said that “Russia does not need a ‘switch-to-war button’ or approval from its citizens to engage in such activities.”
He added: “Western countries do not and cannot apply similar methods.”
Żaryn also said in the interview that “somebody proficient in detecting security gaps” was behind “disinformation attacks against Poland” last week “involving the hacking of a number of Polish news websites.”
Some of the media outlets affected by the attack had fallen victim to similar hacking in the past, according to Żaryn.
He described the attack as a case of “military cyber propaganda.”
As a result, an impression was created that US military commanders believe the Polish army is “good for nothing,” while “the Baltic states scored even worse,” he said.
“Although Russia was not caught red-handed, the attack fitted perfectly into its modus operandi,” Żaryn argued.
“Moreover, attacks of this kind have intensified since the deployment of American troops in Poland,” he said, naming “a massive disinformation campaign against the Anakonda-18 training exercise.”
The American military newspaper Stars and Stripes last week cited Żaryn as saying that Poland was hit by a wave of fake news, including a phony interview with a US commander, ahead of a major NATO exercise in the country.