Spooked by Russia, Poland boosts army by 50,000 men

Poland will expand its armed forces next year to 150,000 men from the current 100,000 because of security concerns, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Friday.

He did not explicitly mention Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine or the pro-Moscow revolt in the country’s east, but those events have already spooked Warsaw into bolstering its defence capabilities.

“We’ve decided to increase the number of Polish troops. We estimate that next year the army will number around 150,000 men,” Macierewicz told reporters.

He added that an important part of the new total would be the 35,000-member paramilitary force, whose first volunteers Poland will start enrolling in September.

Each of Poland’s 16 provinces are expected to have a brigade-level force, and Mazovia — the biggest and most populous region in the centre of the country — will have two.

Priority in deployment will be given to eastern provinces — Podlachia, Lublin and Podkarpackie — deemed to be the most exposed to Russian pressure.

Full article: Spooked by Russia, Poland boosts army by 50,000 men (Spacewar)

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