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Poland To Recruit 35,000 For Paramilitary Force To Counter Russia

Poland says it will start recruiting in September for a new 35,000-strong paramilitary force amid tensions with Russia.

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on June 2 that the force's command structure and senior appointments had already been decided.

Priority in deployment will be given to eastern provinces deemed to be the most exposed to Russian pressure.

Comprising civilian volunteers trained in military skills, officials said the force is aimed at countering "hybrid warfare” of the kind that Western officials say Russia used to seize Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support separatists in the country's east.

In April, Macierewicz said the new paramilitary force was needed because Poland "is threatened by the actions of our neighbor Russia, which makes no secret of its aggressive intentions.”

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa