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Expelled Russian contributed to information warfare against Poland: expert

Jerzy Targalski. Photo: Wojciech Kusiński/Polskie Radio

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17.10.2017 13:15

A Russian who was recently expelled from Poland was not a spy but a foreign “agent of influence” who helped Moscow in an information war against Warsaw, a political commentator has told Polish Radio.

Jerzy Targalski was referring to a Russian citizen expelled from Poland on suspicion of “conducting an activity aimed at jeopardising the interests of the Polish state,” according to a spokesman for the chief of Poland’s security services.

Targalski, a historian and political scientist, said on Polish Radio 24 on Tuesday that the expelled Russian, identified only as Dmitry K., had sought to disseminate pro-Moscow views in Poland.

Dmitry K. was expelled at the request of the head of Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW), the spokesman for Poland’s Special Services Coordinator said in a statement earlier this month.

‘Agents of influence’

Targalski said: “Identifying agents of influence is not a difficult thing to do. I can spot a hundred or so of them on my own. The problem is something else. There’s nothing that can be done about most of them, because they just have such views, claiming for example that Poland is occupied by NATO while it should be an ally of Moscow.

“In this particular case, thanks to the fact that we were dealing with a Russian, it was possible to simply expel the man. The question is what should be done about Polish citizens who do the same things” as Dmitry K.

“And there are a lot of Poles who spread Russian propaganda and nothing can be done about it.

“You cannot prove to someone that they are disseminating a specific kind of view in cooperation with a foreign intelligence service. Solid evidence would be needed to press charges, and such evidence is very difficult to obtain in such cases.”

According to Targalski, individuals spreading anti-Polish narratives tend to argue that they simply have such views and that “there is freedom of expression in the country and, consequently freedom of fighting your own country in the media.”

Under ‘cover of a researcher’

Dmitry K. was a professor at the Pułtusk Academy of Humanities, 70 kilometres north of Warsaw. He specialised in Polish-Russian relations. He also collaborated with the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), according to Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW).

The agency believes Dmitry K. used “his cover of a researcher… from the Institute” to infiltrate “circles including historians, and journalists.”

His task was to “identify individuals with a pro-Russian stance and talk them into cooperation,” according to the spokesman for the chief of Poland’s security services.

The ABW “has also found that Dmitry maintained contacts with Russian special services,” the spokesman said. (gs/pk)

Source: Polish Radio 24

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