Poland plans to move around 10,000 troops to border with Belarus

Poland announced on September 9th, 2020, that it was preparing to move up to 10,000 troops to the border with Belarus ahead of planned presidential elections and protests against the authoritarian rule of President Alexander Lukashenko. The Polish government is thought to be taking the deployment as a precautionary measure to both support Belarusian protesters in the case of a violent response from the government as well as to protect its own eastern border if unrest spills over. The Polish government has already established a special border protection force as part of the deployment, which would be tasked with preventing the entrance of any “unwelcome elements” into Poland. The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has also ordered the Polish Border Guard and its aviation assets to strengthen surveillance along the border. Meanwhile, Lithuania has also reinforced its borders with Belarus.