Polish agency report refutes Russian link in shooting incident

On the evening of November 23, automatic gunfire erupted about 100 feet away from a motorcade carrying Mikhail Saakashvili, President of Georgia, and Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland. The latter was on a state visit to the former Soviet Republic. Nobody was hurt during the incident. Saakashvili was quick to blame Russian forces stationed in Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia, saying at a subsequent press conference that Russian troops are manned with “unpredictable people [who] weren’t happy to see our guest and they weren’t happy to see me either”. Polish President  Kaczynski added that, although it was unclear whether the shots were aimed at the motorcade, he realized “from their shouting that they [the culprits] were Russians”. Russia denied the accusations, claiming on November 24th that the shooting incident was staged by the Georgian government to score a diplomatic point and to discredit the Russian side. Now a report by Krzysztof Bondaryk, head of Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW), speculates that “[t]he shots fired near the car of the Polish and Georgian presidents were a Georgian provocation”. The report was leaked to Polish daily Dziennik, which also reported that the report was communicated by the ABW to sixteen “prominent Polish politicians”. Citing the ABW report, Polish English-language review The Warsaw Voice further speculates that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is likely to have staged the incident “to show the European public that the Russians were not meeting the terms of the French-brokered cease-fire”. [JF]
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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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