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TOPIC: poland

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Saturate The East! Poland Revamps Its Military Strategy In Response To Russian Threat

Poland has a border with Russia and Belarus, so it is not just watching how the Ukraine war develops. Warsaw is rethinking its entire defense strategy.

KYIV — It will soon be exactly one year since the Russian Federation launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine. During that time, neighboring Poland has been playing the role of a front-line country — NATO's eastern outpost.

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Polish government agencies have been hard at work on what to do if the country is attacked. In particular, a new defense directive. After all, Poland’s Political and Strategic Defense Directive, which has been in effect since 2018, must be updated because it simply doesn't match today's reality.

Poland's Deputy Minister of National Defense, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, announced a change in defense doctrine with the defense forces set up on the Vistula River, located in northeastern Poland. Ukraine's experience shows the need to protect the country's entire territory as quickly as possible.

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FTX Founder Arrested, EU Offices Searched, Fusion Breakthrough

👋 Yáʼátʼééh!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where disgraced crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried is arrested in the Bahamas, the EU parliament faces its worst corruption scandal in decades, and U.S. scientists are expected to announce a nuclear fusion breakthrough with huge clean energy implications. Meanwhile, Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza unpacks the new law that sees Poland try to slap blasphemers with jail time.

[*Navajo]

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Poland’s Ruling Party Seeks Tough New Blasphemy Law, Jail For Mocking Church

Poland’s legislature is in the process of passing new “blasphemy” restrictions that would impose jail sentences for denigrating the Catholic Church, Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported Monday.

Parliament’s lower house has approved an amendment that—if passed into law—would impose “a fine, a penalty of restriction of liberty, or imprisonment up to two years,” on anyone who “publicly lies or makes fun of the Church or other religious association with official legal standing, or dogmas or rites.”

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Nuclear Risks Rise As Zaporizhzhia Shelling Multiplies In 24 Hours

At least 12 missiles over the past 24 hours were fired at or near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

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The surrounding territory and the plant itself, also known as ZNPP, are currently controlled by Russian forces, but the plant is a crucial source of energy for much of Ukraine. The Ukrainian nuclear energy company, Energoatom, reports Monday that the latest barrage of attacks has damaged parts of the plant’s infrastructure, including water storage tanks and two stationary diesel generators.

Ukraine Defense Ministry official Yuriy Sak placed the blame squarely on Moscow in what he called a “genocidal campaign to freeze Ukrainians to death, to deprive Ukrainians of electricity.”

ZNPP is the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, and a serious accident there risks exceeding the consequences from Chernobyl or Fukushima. The IAEA mission continues to monitor the operation of the plant, as Ukraine and Russia trade accusations of who is to blame for the rising risk of a nuclear accident.

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In The News
Anna Akage and Emma Albright

First Snow In Ukraine Falls On Second Day Of Mass Air Strikes On Power Grid

Is this what Vladimir Putin's winter plans look like?

For the second straight day, Russia has launched a massive nationwide air attack against the infrastructure targets of major Ukrainian cities. Reports of explosions, buildings on fire and energy cuts were reported in Kyiv, Donbas, Dnipro and other cities around Ukraine.

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Russians fired at least 16 cruise missiles and launched five drones in the overnight hours and early morning, with Ukrainian defense forces managing to shoot down four cruise missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones over Kyiv.

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In The News
Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

War In Ukraine, Day 265: NATO Escalation Averted After Poland Confirms Missile Strike Was Accident

Warsaw says that the missile that hit Poland was probably a Ukrainian air defense missile that went astray. The Russian-made missile fell on the Polish village of Przewodów, near the border with Ukraine, killing two people late Tuesday.

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Even though the missile was made in Russia, initial US assessments indicated that it had originated in Ukraine.

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Poland Missile Strike Was Accident, Trump’s Back, NASA’s Moon Shot

👋 Ello!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Poland says it has no indication the deadly missile near Ukraine's border was sent intentionally, Donald Trump announces he’s running in 2024, and NASA makes one not-so-small step toward returning to the Moon. In Buenos Aires-based daily Clarin, Mara Resio also looks at the recent legal landmark for the country’s multi-parental families, and what it means for parents and children.

[*Jamaican Patois]

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Economy
Ireneusz Sudak

Why Poland Still Doesn't Have Nuclear Power

Poland has announced plans to build its first nuclear power plant with the help of a U.S. firm. But it's not the first time the country has tried to build such a plant. So, will it actually happen this time?

-Analysis-

WARSAWPoland is surrounded by numerous nuclear power plants in the neighborhood: in Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Belarus, Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden. But we don't have our own. There are more than 500 reactors in operation worldwide, and another 55 are under construction. Most are slugging along, and their prices have risen well above the original construction costs.

The best example is Britain's Hinkley Point C power plant. The UK owns the most expensive nuclear power plant in the world. But the work is still going on, as the construction has been delayed.

The construction of a Polish nuclear power plant seemed to be underway in the 1980s, when the country was to join the ranks of nuclear-powered countries. We were to have not one but two power plants — one in Pomerania in Żarnowiec in the north of the country and another in the village of Klempicz, near the city of Poznań in the west. But the government abandoned these plans in 1990. The reasons were a lack of money, the collapsing USSR, and a lack of enthusiasm following the Chernobyl disaster.

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In The News
Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino and Emma Albright

Russia’s Sudden U-Turn On Black Sea Grain Exports Averts Food Crisis

Turkish-Brokered deal Is back on after a call between Putin and Ergogan.

It was a turn of events that could avert a deepening global food crisis: Russian said Wednesday that it will resume participation in the Black Sea grain deal, which ensures safe passage for ships carrying food exports from the country.

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After Moscow had pulled out of the deal earlier over the weekend, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced the U-turn Ukraine had submitted “the necessary written guarantees” that it would not use any agricultural export ports to launch military operations.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger, Chloe Touchard, and Emma Albright

Putin’s Landmark Annexation Speech Paves Way For Escalation

For Vladimir Putin, there are "four new regions of Russia."

In a wide-ranging and provocative speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the annexation of four Ukraine regions, which Putin says now make Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson officially part of Russia.

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Speaking in the Kremlin’s St George’s Hall, the much-anticipated address to the Russian nation follows the so-called "referendums" in the occupied areas of the four Ukrainian regions — which the West condemned as shams held under gunpoint. Friday’s annexation comes as Russia is losing territory on the ground following a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Putin directly addressed the leaders of Ukraine and "their real masters in the West," that the annexation was "for everyone to remember. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens. Forever."

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Meike Eijsberg, and Emma Albright

Blinken Lands For Surprise Visit In Ukraine With $2 Billion Aid Package

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Thursday, his second visit to the country since the start of the war on February 24, annoucing that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $2 billion aid package to Ukraine and 18 other countries in and around the region.

This new aid package is in addition to the latest $675 million package to Ukraine, announced by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. It will include rounds for HIMARS, as well as military vehicles, and other equipment.

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Geopolitics
Bartosz Wielinski

Poland Renews Alliance With Orban — Putin May Be Next

After having announced Poland's rupture with Hungary, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki has reversed course. It is a sign that Poland's ruling conservative government may be ready to bet on an alliance with Moscow.

-Analysis-

WARSAW — Mateusz Morawiecki lasted only a month without Viktor Orban. Now the Prime Minister of Poland is back on the anti-EU war path, back in step with his Hungarian counterpart.

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Whatever integrity Morawiecki may have had got lost "somewhere in his contacts with Moscow." This is what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had said about the pro-Russian prime minister of Hungary a few months ago. Orban, despite Russia's barbaric invasion of Ukraine, maintained economic ties with Moscow, resisted European Union sanctions, and refused to provide support to the invaded state.

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