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Putin kills 80 Polish fighters in 'precision strikes' in east Ukraine

por Holly Dickinson (2022-07-09)

Tensions between Russia and NATO member Poland have been cranking up to boiling point in recent days amid Russian claims that it has killed 'up to 80 Polish mercenaries' in missile strikes.

The reported losses come on the same day that Russia confirmed it has removed a Polish flag from a memorial commemorating the murder of thousands of Poles by the Soviet Union in 1940.

To the north, Moscow has been furious over Lithuania's blocking of EU-sanctioned goods from reaching the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between the Baltic state and Poland.

This has prompted Poland to call on NATO to further bolster its security presence in the Suwalki Gap, the narrow corridor of territory that connects the three Baltic states to the rest of their NATO allies and separates Kaliningrad from Russian ally Belarus.

'We are going to seek the reinforcement of this corridor...

in our talks with our partners from NATO,' Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference in Brussels after a European Union summit. 

Kaliningrad and the Suwalki Gap, on Polish territory, would be ground zero for any military conflict between NATO and Russia, as Vladimir Putin would immediately move to cut the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia off from the rest of NATO and shore up the isolated exclave from inevitable NATO strikes.

The Suwalki Gap - named after the town of Suwalki that sits between the Russian territory of Kaliningrad and the Belarus border - is a strategic choke point that Poland Technology has called on NATO to reinforce in order to strengthen Lithuanian security 

The aftermath of a Russian missile strike on a warehouse building in Druzhkivka, just a few miles away from the Megatex zinc factory in Konstantinovka, where Russia has claimed a 'precision strike' killed 80 Polish fighters

Freight cars stand on the railroad tracks of the freight station in Kaliningrad on Tuesday after Lithuania enforced a blockade against EU-sanctioned goods crossing its territory from Belarus to Kaliningrad

Estonia's military said in a statement that the Russian MI-8 helicopter (pictured flying over St Petersburg) entered the country's airspace in southeastern Estonia and simulated missile strikes