Poland unveils new Iron Curtain to protect Europe from Putin as anti-tank ditches, bunkers and minefields line 434mile-long border

Poland unveils new Iron Curtain to protect Europe from Putin as anti-tank ditches, bunkers and minefields line 434mile-long border

WATCH: Donald Tusk's government puts Polish state media into LIQUIDATION

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 28/05/2024

- 07:58

The details come as Polish officials push to send troops to Ukraine, with the country's foreign minister saying 'we should leave Putin guessing as to our intentions'

Poland has revealed the details of its £2billion-valued 'Iron Curtain'-style defence system designed to fortify the country's borders against Russia and Belarus - with trenches, barricades, anti-tank measures and more set to guard Nato's eastern flank.

Polish PM Donald Tusk had announced the project, known as "East Shield" - or nicknamed the "Tusk line" in Poland - last week, and praised how it "will make this border impenetrable by a potential enemy".

But Tusk stopped short of including the key details in his big announcement on May 20 - the 80th anniversary of the allies' victory at Monte Cassino - where Poland's forces were integral in pushing on to Rome.

And now, Polish Minister of Defence Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, has revealed the wide-ranging plans for the border fortifications in an official presentation in his homeland.

Putin/Polish soldiers/Tusk

Polish PM Donald Tusk had announced the project, known as "East Shield", last week


Kosiniak-Kamysz said: "This makes up one complex system of defensive and deterrent actions. It connects access systems, but we will also purchase and implement modern anti-drone and reconnaissance systems.

"This is the largest operation to strengthen Poland's eastern border, Nato's eastern flank, since 1945."

Plans seen by GB News show the border concept at its strongest - a hundreds-of-metres wide defensive barrier featuring fences, barbed wire, ditches, dykes, anti-tank 'hedgehogs', roadblocks and more.

And Polish officials were keen to talk up the establishment of fortifications, hubs and telecommunication systems in coordination with other eastern frontline Nato allies Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


Map of Eastern Europe

The project, which spans across Poland's 650km-long borders with Russia and Belarus, has been nicknamed the "Tusk line"

GB News

The defences are set to link up with those on which building work is underway in the Baltic states, which will doubtless assuage concerns that Russian forces may look to push through the "Suwałki Gap" - a 40-mile-long stretch of Poland and Lithuania - from Belarus in order to access their exclave of Kaliningrad.

Tusk had said last week the new measures would "protect us against potential attacks, but its purpose will be to deter the enemy," adding: "This will be a strategy to push the war away from our border. Poland will be strong thanks to its own actions, thanks to its alliances."

While Kosiniak-Kamysz had said the move was a "grand plan for a safe Poland from the east, from the invader who, over the generations and in various ways, has tried to bring destruction, hunger, death and suffering to our lands".

Poland's previous government had built a fence on the Polish-Belarusian border to protect against illegal migration, which is complemented by a system of cameras and sensors monitoring the frontier - though nothing quite like the "East Shield" plan.

\u200bPolish Minister of Defence Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz

Polish Minister of Defence Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz showed off the details of "East Shield" on Monday


The border has been a flashpoint since migrants started flocking there in 2021, after Belarus had opened travel agencies in the Middle East offering a new unofficial route into Europe - a move the European Union claimed was designed to create a crisis.

Deputy Defence Minister Cezary Tomczyk has said investments on "East Shield" would start in the first quarter of 2025 and were expected to be completed by 2028. Poland hopes to tap EU funds for some of the projects.

And as the fighting rumbles on across another of Poland's borders in close ally Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said his country should not rule out sending troops to its war-torn neighbour.

Asked in an interview whether Poland was ready to send troops to Ukraine, Sikorski said: "We shouldn't rule it out. We should leave Putin guessing as to our intentions."

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