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Russia “likely” behind fire that destroyed Warsaw shopping centre, says Tusk



It is “likely” that Russia was involved in the fire that recently destroyed Warsaw’s largest shopping centre, says Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. However, he added that investigations are still ongoing.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, at which he was discussing the formation of a new commission to investigate Russian influence in Poland, Tusk said Russian operatives could have been involved in the fire that earlier this month destroyed the Marywilska 44 shopping centre.

That incident, in which no one was hurt, came amid a spate of other fires around Poland in the period of a few days, leading to speculation that they could be the result of a Russian sabotage campaign.

“We are examining the threads – they are quite likely – that the Russian services had something to do with the Marywilska fire,” said Tusk. But he added that “proceedings are ongoing” and full information would be provided when the investigation reached a conclusion.

Tusk also announced that the owners of shops that burned down at Marywilska 44 would be able to apply for one-off support of 2,000 zloty (€470). The state will also cover for three months part of the salaries of workers they employ, up to half of the minimum wage, which is currently 3,600 (€846) per month.

At the same press conference, Tusk also announced that three further people suspected of carrying out sabotage on behalf of Russia had been detained overnight, adding to the nine that he revealed yesterday.

Last week, the prime minister pledged that an additional 100 million zloty will be allocated to Poland’s security agencies in response to the growing threat of covert action by Russia and Belarus.

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Main image credit: Dariusz Borowicz / Agencja


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