"... it's harder to understand why Russian hackers might have it in for Poland, but then again perhaps they don't need much provocation before cracking open the attack tools."
The individual Russians I have met have all been nice people, but It's hard to understand Russians as a nation. The only way I can explain this behaviour is a mixture of a 19th century machiavellian world view (dominating others equals greatness) and what I can only think of as self esteem issues when it comes to handling criticism.
Russians seem to be in denial about their historical role as an oppressive neighbour, reacting with strong emotions when these shameful parts of their past are brought up. Then these emotions manifest as aggression towards their neighbours. I wonder if they see the irony.
WW2 seems to be enshrined in Russian minds as their finest hour, beating back the invading Germans at massive cost. For some reason this good-vs-evil story cannot include the fact that at same time they were the aggressors, occupiers and oppressors towards their neighbours. If they were more mature they could admit it, have public discourse and get on with life, but instead we get denial, vitriol and DOS attacks.
In the west it's accepted that with power comes criticism and ridicule. Anything or anyone that's elevated immediately becomes the target of scorn and satire. We make a point of breaking every taboo. In this aspect the Russians seem to have a more in common with oriental cultures, where criticism causes you to lose face and is not tolerated. Journalists critical of the establishment get murdered in Russia. I guess a DOS attack is better in comparison.
Paris because: make love not war.