Poland will build a 800 million Euros worth new territorial defense force of 53,000 volunteers by 2019 in order to guard against threats from Russia.
The force will be similar to the US National Guard in that it is comprised of civilians who undergo military training, Defense Minister Atoni Macierewicz said Monday.
These units are the cheapest way to increase the strength of the armed forces and the defense capabilities of the country. “The force would deter Russia from seizing Polish territory by infiltration, as Rusia is accused of having done in eastern Ukraine”, Macierewicz said.
Hybrid warfare is a tactic employed by Russia that uses deception rather than a formal declaration of war, Military experts said.
Plans set out by the defense ministry call for each of Poland's 16 provinces to have a force of 3,000-5,000 volunteers who undergo military training, similar to the US National Guard.
Priority in deployment will be given to eastern provinces Podlachia, Lublin and Podkarpachie. They are deemed to be the most exposed to Russian pressure.
Poland's defense ministry last week said it was also launching free nationwide classes for women to learn unarmed combat.
"Professional soldiers will constitute between six to eight percent of these units and will command the volunteers," defense ministry spokeswoman Beata Perkowska said.
The announcement on Monday follows recent images that showed Russians taking part in a nuclear war drill.