“The situation is starting to resemble the situation during the Cold War,” says Polish Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defense, Tomasz Szatkowski. “There are a number of fronts, a number of situations that could turn into proxy wars.”
Old militias on the rise
The politics of Poland preclude the country from reinstating military conscription, like neighboring Lithuania did last year. But fears over Russian aggression has thousands of young people lining up to join Poland’s historic militias.
Known as the Riflemen’s Associations, some have century-old roots that predate the Polish state, when underground forces fought Russian Bolsheviks and Moscow’s communists.
To say that Poland has no desire to live under Moscow’s heel again is an understatement, and the government knows it, which is why it’s backing the resurgence of the old militias.
“It helps to have a better trained, better skilled pool of people that can be called into military service at a time of crisis,” explains Szatkowski.