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The barrier on the border with Belarus “can be bent with a jack.” It will be strengthened, there is an idea how to do it

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Two stages of strengthening the dam on the Polish-Belarusian border were discussed in the Sejm. The Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard, Major General of the Border Guard, Robert Bagan, discussed eight steps in strengthening the dam. This includes eliminating the possibility of bending it, introducing a self-alien system and an additional line of cameras observing the neighboring side.

During the meeting of the parliamentary standing subcommittee for the modernization and development of the Police, Border Guard, State Fire Service and State Protection Service, information was presented from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration and the Chief Commander of the Border Guard on ensuring the security of Poland's eastern border, with particular emphasis on the Belarusian section and the scale of crossings. border, in the context of securing the personnel and equipment needs of the Border Guard.

At 186 km of the border with Belarus There is a 5.5 m high steel barrier built in 2022. It is the main element of securing this border against illegal migration. It is complemented by the so-called – operating on 206 km in Podlasie. electronic barrier, i.e. a system of cameras and sensors.

– Since after two years of experience we see some shortcomings and imperfections of the barrier that is currently functioning, we intend to improve it – said the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard, Maj. Gen. SG Robert Bagan and discussed eight steps to strengthen the dam.

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Steps to strengthen the dam on the Polish-Belarusian border

The first step is to improve the electronic barrier by installing an additional line of cameras on the barrier itself, so that they can observe the approach of potential people who want to cross the border illegally. Bagan noted that this would also allow for a quick response.

– The cameras will be placed on ten-meter masts with the greatest possible protection against various types of undesirable effects, and they will be both day-night and thermal cameras – Bagan added.

Another element is illuminating the barrier area by installing motion-sensitive lights. – In the autumn-winter and winter-spring periods, the darkness there facilitates overcoming the barrier – explained the commander.

Another improvement is the introduction of recognition through the so-called a home-foreign system that will enable the identification of Polish vehicles, officers and soldiers, and the sensors will not react to people and vehicles near the barrier. Currently, Bagan added, a lot of alarms are being generated, which “blurs the picture of the situation.”

Barrier on the border between Poland and Belarus Michał Zieliński/PAP

Additional beams, concertina

Another element – he informed – is related to water culverts through which streams run from Belarus to Poland. – In these water crossings, we also identified foreigners crossing the border, despite physical security, i.e. grids – he noted. Therefore, additional cameras will be installed there to track traffic and transmit data to the operations center at the headquarters of the Podlasie Border Guard unit in Białystok.

Bagan announced that three companies were invited to negotiations in connection with the above-mentioned elements. – We hope that one will be selected to sign the contract and implement the project. We want to complete it by the end of the year, he added.

He noted that the barrier itself also requires strengthening, which, although made of steel, is very easy to bend. – With a car jack (…) it can be bent in a very short time – explained the commander.

The barrier is to be strengthened by two beams running along its entire length, i.e. almost 200 km, located at a height of 1.1 m and 1.8 m – counting from the ground. – According to our experience and tests, they will practically eliminate the possibility of bending, but not cutting – he emphasized.

When asked whether the solution would not be a ladder, he replied that on the Polish side, “at the very top of the barrier”, a concertina (an improved version of barbed wire, specialized razor wire – ed.) would be attached, which “will make descent difficult.”

– We assumed that it would be a kind of ladder, but remember that it is 5.5 meters high – added the commander. He said that this element will not be used often, because on the Belarusian side it is also necessary to use ladders made either by foreigners in the forest or professional ladders provided by the Belarusian services. – We assumed this risk, we hope it will not materialize – he said.

He informed that four companies were invited to provide security, and one would be selected. – We hope that the contract will be signed by June 15. We expect completion by the end of the year, he added.

A dam on the Polish-Belarusian borderGettyImages

An expensive but necessary investment

Part of these safeguards is – as he said – the first stage. The second is the construction of six additional observation towers, equipped with advanced equipment monitoring a very wide section of the border, including the territory beyond it.

He also informed that this year the Border Guard wants to purchase vertical take-off drones that will not need a runway and will stay in the air for over an hour.

He added that the Border Guard wants to harden the technical road used by construction companies working to secure the border “so that it can be used for efficient movement and quick response of both foot patrols and, above all, motorized patrols,” he added.

He explained that currently, due to significant rainfall, the road is very runny and bumpy. He added that it would be an expensive investment, but necessary. – We want to start design work this year, and implementation in 2025 – summed up the Chief Commander of the Border Guard.

Main photo source: Michał Zieliński/PAP

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