Poland Detains And Questions Russian Man Who Illegally Crossed From Belarus

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s security officials said Wednesday that a 41-year-old man from Russia had been detained and was being questioned after illegally crossing in from Russia’s ally Belarus.

The Border Guard confirmed that a 41-year-old “deserter” from Russia has been detained.

Deputy Interior Minister Czeslaw Mroczek said that officials were trying to establish whether the man was a deserter from Russian army “trying to flee the horrors of the war” or whether he was assigned to carry out secret tasks in the European Union for Russia.

“We must determine what his intentions were," Mroczek said. “The question is whether we are dealing here with someone who was carrying out tasks for Russian (secret) services.”

Polish media reported the man was not armed and was in civilian clothes, but was carrying a written contract with the Russian army that included participation in actions being part of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

The detention came as Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk was meeting with top security officials over alleged Russian influences in Poland and its leadership. The development also came shortly after a controversial Polish judge, who had access to sensitive information, defected to Belarus this week, which Tusk described as “high treason.”