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Poland Arrests 9 Over Alleged Russian Sabotage Plots

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Polish authorities have arrested nine members of an alleged Russian spy ring who are suspected of planning acts of sabotage throughout Europe, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Monday.

"We currently have nine suspects detained and indicted, who have been directly implicated in the name of Russian [intelligence] services in acts of sabotage in Poland," Tusk told the broadcaster TVN24.

"These are Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Polish citizens," he said, suggesting that some may have been recruited from criminal circles.

Those detained are accused of "beatings, arson, and attempted arson," according to Tusk, who said the Russian plots concern not just Poland, but also Lithuania, Latvia, and possibly Sweden. 

Among the examples Tusk cited was an attempt to set fire to a paint factory in the western Polish city of Wroclaw, as well as to an IKEA store in Lithuania.

Tusk said a public information campaign on the issue would follow in the days ahead. He added that an international investigation was underway.

Earlier this month, the Polish government announced that it would allocate an additional 100 million zlotys ($25 million) to civil and military counter-espionage services amid alleged destabilizing activities from Moscow.

In recent weeks, Warsaw arrested a man suspected of helping Russian intelligence services prepare an attack on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as a Belarusian citizen suspected of sponsoring a March attack on Leonid Volkov, a close ally of late Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Warsaw also arrested two Polish citizens who were responsible for that attack.

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