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Manipulation Due to Ukrainian refugees, the number of thefts in Polish stores increased by a third

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the level of shoplifting has increased significantly in Poland. Like, it's all because of the Ukrainian refugees, who “neglect all the laws”. The authors of the messages refer to the material of the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, in which they allegedly investigated the issues of thefts involving Ukrainian refugees. This is manipulation.

The propagandists distorted the context of the entire material, because it was about the general trend of thefts in Poland. According to the data of the Police Headquarters, published by the Rzeczpospolita newspaper, in 2022 the number of shoplifting increased by 31.1%. Journalists explain that people steal mainly basic food products from small shops. They also stressed that organized crime groups are predominantly responsible for these thefts. At the same time, there was no mention of “Ukrainian refugees”. Although the material itself is titled “Poles are stealing goods from shops more and more”, the journalists investigated the general issue of thefts without appealing to specific people or age groups.

Russian propaganda systematically manipulates the issue of Ukrainian refugees abroad. Thus, they are trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, which is a cultural and economic threat to the EU in order to reduce support for Ukraine and Ukrainians. We wrote about this in our own investigation.

We recall that Detector Media previously also analyzed a manipulation in which propagandists claimed that, allegedly because of the Russian language, the attitude of many Poles towards Ukrainians worsened.

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