Polish politicians have pointed to statements by the Russian authorities threatening action against those countries that support Ukraine.

Several major fires have erupted across Poland in recent days, with a significant blaze destroying Warsaw’s largest retail hall, decimating the shopping facility. In Bytom, Silesia, 10 buses were consumed by flames at a transport depot, and a school building in Grodzisk Mazowiecki caught fire during an examination. Additionally, a chemical plant in Siemianowice, Silesia, experienced a fire, and multiple waste disposal sites throughout the country also reported fires.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, stressed the significance of determining whether these fires were linked to foreign activities or constituted acts of sabotage; however, he acknowledged that there is currently no evidence linking the recent fires to external interference.

BREAKING: 🇵🇱 A huge fire broke out on the territory of a shopping complex In Warsaw, Poland. pic.twitter.com/RJcZCVsMu0

— Mega Geopolitics (@MegaGeopolitics) May 12, 2024

While Tusk assured the public that there is no immediate indication of external involvement in the fires, he reiterated the necessity for ongoing vigilance.

“Over the last several weeks, in cooperation with allies, the Polish services have thwarted such actions concerning sabotage and arson,” he said. He also warned that Russian actions were likely to intensify and claimed that Russia was planning to interfere in the European parliamentary elections “on a scale hitherto unknown.”

President Andrzej Duda’s chief security aide, Jacek Siewiera, told commercial television channel TVN24 that he found the recent spate of fires to be suspicious, as they were taking place not only in Poland, but also in Finland where security services have detected some calls for arson in social media. 

Siewiera called such actions “psychological warfare” in which it is not clear if the incidents have happened naturally or whether they have been inspired by an intelligence service of foreign powers. Raising suspicions that any fire might be sabotage can only lead to people being suspicious of foul play at every such event. 

However, he acknowledged that counter-intelligence services have been warning that provocations were likely and that they could be followed by fires and terrorist attacks, therefore public awareness and vigilance were needed in public buildings and places.

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