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The Documentary

BBC World Service

News & Politics, Society & Culture, History

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History 24
Society & Culture 70

The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programmes.

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Poland's Amateur Defenders

August 11th, 2016

Episode 1300 of 1365 episodes

Playing war-games in the woods has become an ever-more popular pastime in Poland as thousands of young people join paramilitary groups to defend their country against possible invasion. Others – so-called “preppers” - are building bunkers and storing food supplies so their families can survive any disaster. Now the government plans to recruit such enthusiasts into a state-run volunteer defence force – to counter a possible Russian threat. But are the authorities stoking fear – and creating an amateur force that’s no use in 21st Century warfare? Tim Whewell reports from the forests of north-eastern Poland, close to the Russian border. Producer: Estelle Doyle

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