General Polko about Russian propaganda on the topic of NATO troops in Poland the Us military already met in the Polish Gagane, this is a historic moment. How will their presence change the balance of power in the region?


Roman Polko (Roman Polko): I think this is the beginning of the path to the revival of a strong NATO, which guarantees collective defense. In recent years, the European States did very little to strengthen its potential, neglecting the Third article of the Washington Treaty, and Poland and the United States often took part in expeditionary missions. However, the key task is to protect its own territory and military exercises. Putin is constantly conducting such maneuvers, increase their scale, arranges provocations.


– What?


— For example, places missiles in the Kaliningrad region, seeks to draw into its orbit Belarus, or even to strengthen at its expense, what is the greatest threat. Through the Belarusian territory, he can carry out dangerous attacks of land forces. To conduct such operations from the Kaliningrad region is difficult, although the forces there are concentrated many. In recent years NATO did not have an American armored division in the European territory. The last summit demonstrated our solidarity, and in spite of the fears was a success. We did not remain in the sphere of promises, followed by their specific actions. Now we see that after the statements appeared concrete steps, we came to 4 000 military. It may not be much, but this American team to be envied. Fire power that it has, corresponds to the strength of two Polish brigades, which, unfortunately, is not as advanced equipment. But I hope that thanks to the American presence, too, is to be able to upgrade.


Russian media are sounding the alarm that NATO, by entering Poland the American forces made a provocative military-political move against Russia. The Russians say that the Alliance creates the battalions that will be offensive units.

— I’m watching this propaganda that resorts including humor. Cartoons depict calm the Russians and NATO, which threatens to inflict on him a blow. Reality is turned here on its head. In the context of deploying our forces, I am often asked whether to hold an armored division on the Eastern flank and take the chance that the enemy will cause them blow. Kaliningrad oblast is a huge Arsenal of weapons and 120,000 military. If Russia feared the onset of the Alliance, it would certainly not began to concentrate their forces, because they would be relatively easy to destroy. Meanwhile, NATO is not planning offensive action in this direction, none of the NATO exercises did not cross the Eastern border and did not include offensive scripts were fulfilled only defensive.


Scripts Russian drills look different?


— Completely different. It is very dangerous that the Russian generals systematically work out scenarios, the goal of which is to capture the banks of the Vistula river, using all means available to Russia, including nuclear weapons. This is a real threat. In fact it begins to seem that the doctrine of the Warsaw Treaty Organization is reactivated. This can lead to some General do come to mind to allow the machine that works is something like Putin’s scarecrows in the course. The deployment of U.S. forces on Polish territory, joint exercises is a standard concept of collective defence. Practicing these operations, the transfer over long distances, for example, brigades, we learn to work together. It’s hard to imagine that you can start to create divisions of teams, and transfer forces that will carry out the mission in time of war, when war breaks out.


– That is, the idea that NATO provokes Russia, is absurd.


— Of course, Yes, just look at how the teachings are. I never heard that any Polish, American or overall NATO planes provoking Russia and violating its airspace. I have not heard that the Polish and Lithuanian forces invaded the territory of the Kaliningrad region. And the reverse incidents, unfortunately, happen.


– What I want to achieve, the Russians in their propaganda?


— The Kremlin is developing its capabilities in cyberwarfare. In this space it is already underway, and the Russians gain a success. Mention at least impact on American policy or the anxiety of Chancellor Merkel in connection with the threat posed by Russian Internet trolls for German policy. Putin realized that the information war is much cheaper and more efficient than traditional operations. So when he throws the missile complexes “Iskander” in the Kaliningrad region, carries out a massive redeployment of forces or doctrines, he first of all seeks to give these operations the appropriate propaganda sound, inflate them, to get noticed.


– What are the real benefits he extracts from this?


— Russia appears strong bear is better not to bother, because provocation can lead to disaster. So far it has worked: many European countries are worrying about their current interests, prefer to bury your head in the sand and pretend that nothing really happens. I believe that Putin is not ready for an armed confrontation. Russia will not sustain it in economic terms. Not to mention the fact that against the backdrop of NATO forces of the Russian pale in comparison. But Russia has a huge territory, it is necessary to ensure the safety of many other forms, not only deal with the Eastern flank.


– Imagine the darkest scenario has become a reality, there is a real threat. Are we able today to protect yourself?


The task of the military is to consider the most dire scenario, even the prospect of a third world war involving Russia, as described in his book the British General, Deputy commander of NATO forces in Europe. I think the Alliance is beginning to realize that potential should be strengthened and the placement in Poland of the brigade, and de facto connection to this process a whole division will be the first step in this direction. From the Polish point of view it is important that our European partners have increased their investments in the armed forces and began creating defensive potential. It is important that regular exercises came not a few dozen German soldiers, and some larger units. Such solidarity, I think, will be an obstacle for new initiatives of Putin. He aktiviziruyutsya when the feeling of impunity, when all his actions from Georgia prior to the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of the Donbass go with it.