Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Prime Minister of Poland encourages Ukraine to send its troops to the territory of Russia

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is reportedly calling on Ukraine to send its troops into Russian territory. Like, the Polish leadership wants to continue the war in Ukraine. The authors of the messages refer to a recent interview with Mateusz Morawiecki. This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the EU vs Disinfo project drew attention to the case, which determined that the authors of the messages distorted the context of the interview. Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki in his interview spoke about the right of Ukraine to conduct military operations on the territory of the aggressor state. That is, he did not call on Ukraine to send troops to Russia, but expresses his opinions. He believes that Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russia and send troops to Russia, if necessary.

Fake All Ukrainian refugees in Poland will be able to vote in the upcoming elections

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular in the Polish segment of Facebook. Reports say that Ukrainians will be able to vote in the upcoming elections, because they have the corresponding PESEL document. The authors of the messages add that the result of the elections is predetermined, and that “real Poles” should no longer go to the elections. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the Polish project Demagog took up the case, they explained that the presence of PESEL does not give people the right to participate in elections: both to choose and to be elected. Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności (PESEL), that is, the Universal Electronic Population Registration System, is an eleven-digit numeric character that identifies an individual. However, the possession of PESEL does not guarantee the citizenship of the country, and the person does not acquire it upon receipt of this document. And only citizens of Poland can vote in parliamentary or presidential elections.

A foreigner can obtain Polish citizenship after fulfilling a number of conditions, in particular, a certain period of continuous residence in Poland. And only under this condition, when a person acquires citizenship, he or she can vote. No other way exists.

Fake Polish TV channel reported on the real plans of Poland to divide Ukraine

Such messages appeared on social networks at the end of March. The reports said that a recent report by one of the Polish TV channels allegedly showed a map according to which Ukraine should be divided between Russia, Poland, Romania and Hungary. The publications claimed that the video was relevant and the map shows that “the entire south and east of Ukraine will belong to Russia”, and the western part will “join” Poland, small parts will go to Romania and Hungary. However, this is fake. The Polish channel did not show such a map in 2023.

As the analysts of the Correctiv project found out, the video is not up-to-date, it shows a report from Polish television in 2014, in which a Russian politician offered Poland to divide Ukraine. The Polish government called the proposal “strange” and one that should not be taken seriously.

Analysts have researched that the logos of the Polish news channel TVP1 can be seen in an online video that is being circulated in the messages, but what is heard is not what the messages claim: the speaker first speaks in Polish about “joining our territory”, and then says: “ […] Hungary and Romania received a similar proposal. There is no information about which regions Russia still wants to consider as its own, but only the central region will remain within the boundaries of modern Ukraine”.

Using the image from the video and the name of the broadcaster, analysts did a reverse image search and came across an original Polish TV report. It is dated March 23, 2014, so it is not relevant, contrary to what they say in social networks.

Russian propaganda regularly spreads messages about the plans of Poland and other countries to annex part of Ukraine. In fact, such statements are always unsubstantiated, but Russia needs it to partially justify itself by illustrating the desire of other states to seize part of Ukraine.

Fake Zelenskyi promised Poland the western territories of Ukraine in exchange for “help during the counteroffensive”

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Zelenskyi is asking for help and is ready to give everything, even the territories of Western Ukraine. The authors of the messages refer to the material of the Polish edition Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny. It's a lie.

Specialists of the Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council explain that no such statement was made by Zelenskyi. At the same time, the Polish publication Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny is a fake publication that publishes propaganda articles translated into Polish. The portal was created to spread anti-Ukrainian narratives. The authors of the really existing material manipulate Zelenskyi's statement that “there will be no borders between Poland and Ukraine in the future”. However, Volodymyr Zelenskyi did not say that Poland could take the territories of Ukraine, he spoke about the all-encompassing friendship between the two brother states.

By spreading such fakes, the authors seek to portray Poland as an aggressor and level the assistance that Poland provides to Ukraine during the war. Allegedly, in fact, Poland is helping Ukraine not because of good intentions.

The propagandists also spread the thesis about “the appropriation of the western territories of Ukraine by Poland” when Zelenskyi visited Poland. Analysts of Detector Media have already spoken on what pro-Russian telegram channels wrote about Volodymyr Zelenskyi's visit to Poland.

Fake In Poland, crime rate increased because of Ukrainians

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that with the influx of Ukrainian refugees, the crime rate has risen significantly. Like, among the criminals in Poland there are many Ukrainian refugees. The authors of the messages refer to the research of the local analytical center UCE Research, as well as supposedly to the data of the Polish police. The authors argue that free entry into the European Union “became a good opportunity to realize their criminal intentions”. However, this is fake.

The case was noticed by experts from the StopFake project, they studied that from the reports published on the UCE Research platform, there is no information that the increase in crime in the country was due to the appearance of refugees from Ukraine.

Another source allegedly confirming the thesis about the increase in crime in Poland because of the Ukrainians is the police. However, the Polish police do not provide such data. Ukrainian refugees are mentioned in the annual reports only in the context of the fact that the tasks of the police officers were to protect the places where refugees were staying, the Polish police officers “led and helped organize a meeting for Ukrainians, organized numerous meetings with Ukrainians, and some of them provided them with their homes and helped them find themselves in a foreign country and in a new situation”. None of the police reports talk about the fault of Ukrainian refugees in the increase in the number of crimes in 2022.

One of the materials that really reveals the topic of crimes committed by foreigners in Poland is an article in the publication Rzeczpospolita, which analyzes what crimes were committed by migrants in Poland in 2022. The Main Directorate of the National Police has prepared statistics on crimes committed by foreigners in Poland especially for the publication. So, in total, in 2022, 15 thousand crimes were committed by representatives of different nationalities, most often Ukrainians, as the largest group, as well as Belarusians and Georgians, were included in the statistics. The most common type of crime among foreigners, notes Rzeczpospolita, is driving while intoxicated. In second place in popularity is possession of drugs.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU, in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own investigation.

Analysts of Detector Media denied a number of fakes and manipulations on the topic of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. For example, we analyzed the manipulation of increasing thefts in Polish stores by a third allegedly because of Ukrainian refugees. And we also explained another manipulation, using which propagandists claimed that the attitude of many Poles towards Ukrainians had worsened.

Disclosure What Russian propagandists wrote about Volodymyr Zelenskyi's visit to Poland

Against the backdrop of news about the visit of Volodymyr Zelenskyi to Poland, disinformation messages appeared in the information space, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, with the help of which propaganda is trying to advance its agenda. A team of analysts of Detector Media has identified the most common of them.

1. Zelenskyi dreams of uniting part of the territory of Ukraine with Poland

Pro-Russian telegram channels spread the message that the main purpose of Zelenskyi’s visit to Poland is to “bring together state institutions”, because “Zelenskyi wants to assimilate with Poland”. The authors of the messages convince readers that the Polish leadership “does not cease to be interested in the western part of Ukraine”, and Zelenskyi will gladly help them and give up the territory.

This is not a new message of Russian propaganda as they systematically claims that they want to tear Ukraine apart and cut off its territories. Like, first of all, Poland wants to seize the West of Ukraine, because it is important for the Poles to restore “historical justice”. Russian propaganda spread a number of fakes and manipulations on this topic. For example, about the recruitment of Poles into the Ukrainian army or about Poland building up its military force to seize the territories of Ukraine.

In fact, the head of the international policy bureau at the Office of the Polish President, Marcin Przydacz, said that the negotiations between Zelenskyi and Duda would cover “the entire spectrum of Polish-Ukrainian relations, starting with security policy”. He even assured that historical issues would be raised during the talks.

However, propagandists need such messages in order to expose Poland as an aggressor and level the assistance that Poland provides to Ukraine in the conditions of war. Allegedly, in fact, Poland is helping Ukraine not because of good intentions.

2. Zelenskyi’s arrival in Poland means the formation of an “anti-Russian coalition”

This thesis was propagated by propagandists to feed the narrative of the existence of a “collective West”. Allegedly, all the actions taken by the Ukrainian leadership are aimed at discrediting Russia. According to the authors of the messages, during the meeting with Andrzej Duda, there were “mentions of Russia”.

It is not about any “anti-Russian coalition”. Of course, the leaders of Poland and Ukraine probably gathered to discuss security issues first of all. However, such negotiations are caused by unprovoked Russian aggression. The so-called anti-Russian coalition is a response to Russia's criminal actions against Ukraine and its civilians. Russian propaganda claims that Zelenskyi is only looking for a reason to convince the whole world that Russia and Russians are bad, but in fact “Western countries are sick with Russophobia”. However, global condemnation and sanctions against the aggressor are the consequences of Russia's criminal actions, and not vice versa, as Moscow wants to present it.

3. Zelenskyi's words should be interpreted as “preparation for the surrender of Bakhmut”

Anonymous telegram channels spread the thesis about the so-called “surrender of Bakhmut by Zelenskyi”. Like, Volodymyr Zelenskyi deliberately left for Poland in order to divert the attention of Ukrainians and the rest of the world from the “situation” with Bakhmut. According to propagandists, Zelenskyi does not want to receive a stream of negativity in his direction, so he “runs away to Poland”.

As proof, the propagandists quote Zelenskyi from a joint press conference with the President of Poland that “if there are even hotter events and the danger of personnel losses due to the encircling of the city, the appropriate correct decisions will be made on the spot”. However, these words do not indicate that the President of Ukraine is running away from problems. Volodymyr Zelenskyi assesses all the risks and does not talk about the alleged withdrawal of troops from Bakhmut.

Moreover, the authors do not add any evidence confirming the thesis about the “surrender of Bakhmut” in their publications. Thus, they shift the responsibility for what is happening in the city from the Russian army to the Ukrainian president. It was Russia that attacked Ukraine, and it is precisely because of the actions of the enemy army that the situation in individual Ukrainian cities and villages is difficult. However, Russian propaganda whitewashes itself and demonizes the Ukrainian president, who allegedly is not interested in events in his country.

According to the latest data, as of April 4, the Russian army continues to storm the city and concentrate its main efforts for the offensive, in particular in the Bakhmut direction.

4. Most Western leaders meet with Xi Jinping, while Zelenskyi is “only” going to Poland

In this case, the authors of the messages contrast the meeting between the leaders of China and Russia with today's event. Like, Zelensky’s meeting with Andrzej Duda is “window dressing”, and Xi Jinping “meets only influential politicians”, attributing such a title to Putin in particular. So, Zelenskyi “only took advantage of the possible option”.

China expressed its position on Russia's war against Ukraine when, on February 24, 2023, their Foreign Ministry presented a plan to resolve the war. The document contains 12 points, which, according to Beijing, will contribute to the end of the war. Among them are a ceasefire and hostilities, the start of peace talks, and an end to unilateral sanctions.

At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was skeptical about China's plan, arguing that Beijing “does not deserve much credibility” because it “failed to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine”.

China formally recognizes the territorial integrity of Ukraine and has never declared Russian recognition of Crimea or other Ukrainian regions that Russia wants to seize. However, for example, China is at the time of voting for the resolutions of the UN General Assembly, which provide for the recognition of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And on the eve of his visit to Moscow, in an article for “Rossiiskaya Gazeta” (Russian Article), Xi Jinping called the war “a total aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis”. In addition, China can supply Russia with weapons to help it continue the war against Ukraine.

However, by spreading such a message, propagandists want to devalue the role of the President of Ukraine and show who really “leads the agenda”: Xi Jinping and Putin. Allegedly, Zelenskyi is not so “influential” to meet such “politicians”.

Disclosure What messages were spread at the anti-Ukrainian conference in Polish Kielce?

On March 18, in the Polish city of Kielce, a conference “Does war threaten us?” (Czy grozi nam wojna?) was held. The event was broadcast live on YouTube, and the speakers were those who have been spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the Polish information space for a long time. Specialists of the Polish project Demagog highlighted the most important anti-Ukrainian messages from the conference.

1 Yanukovych was stripped of power in an anti-democratic way

One of the speakers noted that allegedly the ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was deprived of power contrary to the principles of democracy, and one should not call him a usurper or a dictator. To prove his thesis, he says that in 2010 Yanukovych was elected in elections that were held “according to all democratic standards”.

Propagandists thus again want to discredit Euromaidan and its influence on Ukrainian society. Like, this is a coup d'etat, which was organized by Washington to bring Ukraine to the brink. However, one of the reasons for the start of Euromaidan was the laws and decisions of Yanukovych, which went against public opinion, and protest is an important element of democratic processes in Europe, especially in Ukraine.

2. Ukraine will no longer return Crimea, and Kyiv started the war in Donbas

At the conference, the opinion was also voiced that the future of Ukraine was supposedly very vague, and the Russians made sure that Crimea remained “in their hands”.

Thus, propagandists want to legitimize and justify the illegal actions of Russia. Like, why does Ukraine need Crimea if it itself is falling apart? However, it was Russia that destabilized the region with its actions and illegally annexed Crimea and other temporarily occupied territories. It was Russia that also started the war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, hiding behind the “protection of the Russian-speaking population” of these regions.

3. Kyiv regime forbids Ukrainians to speak Russian

The speakers of the event argued that Ukrainians from Donbas are afraid that “they are forced to learn a new language, that children will now speak Ukrainian ... They want a referendum”.

Through this message, propagandists want to demonize the Ukrainian authorities and justify Russia's crimes by “protecting the Russian-speaking population”. However, in addition to the fact that the Ukrainian language has always been the only state language, and Ukrainian legislation does not impose restrictions on the language of everyday communication, Russia arranges air attacks mainly on cities and regions where the use of the Russian language is common.

4. Everyone was silent when Ukraine bombed Donbas for 8 years

At the conference, one could also hear that “for 8 years, people living in the Donbas were often bombed, fired upon, and no one somehow wept over the fate of those children who died in schools…”. They say that this did not bother anyone in Ukraine and Poland, and Kyiv fired at these people.

This message is a classic example of Russian disinformation. Thus, the propagandists want to justify the crimes of the Russians. It seems that a full-scale war against Ukraine is revenge for the suffering of the inhabitants of Donbas. However, it was not Ukraine, but Russia that started hostilities there in 2014 and is ruthlessly destroying the territory of the region.

5. The war against Ukraine is part of a major plan of the world government, and very soon Ukraine and Poland will turn into “Ukropolin”.

The speakers of the event said that the war was started in order for Europe to start building “New Jerusalem, Heavenly Jerusalem, Crimean California, New Khazaria, Ukropolin”. Moreover, as proof of these words, they claim that the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, has already stated that Poland and Ukraine will allegedly unite into one state.

In this case, the propagandists turn to the now popular conspiracy theories to shift the responsibility for the crimes of the Russians to someone else. Like, these are all the tricks of the world government, and we are all just hostages of political games. In the answer above, one can also see anti-Semitic overtones: according to conspiracy theorists, the world government consists of Jews and in this way they take revenge for all the bad things that happened to them before. However, if to talk about Duda’s speech, which the speakers refer to, it is about the speech of May 3, 2022, where, within the full context, one can understand that the Polish president is talking about the amount of assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. Moreover, in this speech, he even emphasizes that Poland will help “the restoration of Ukraine: strong, sovereign, independent”.

Fake Poland helps the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the framework of the “plan for their destruction”

Propagandists are allegedly spreading a quote from an American intelligence officer, where he reveals Poland's plan to destroy Ukrainian soldiers. They refer to an interview with retired US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter for American journalist Stephen Gardner. Like, Poland deliberately transfers defective planes to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and turns Ukrainian soldiers into an easy target. It's fake.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to the fake. They refuted Ritter's words about the “plan for the destruction of Ukrainian soldiers”: Poland is one of Ukraine's main partners in military assistance. The example with the supply of German Leopard 2 tanks and MiG-29 combat aircraft is a clear confirmation. In addition, analysts found an interview with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, in which he said: “We help Ukraine, because our neighbor in the East determines how our future will look like”.

Talking about the personality of Scott Ritter, he is indeed a former US intelligence officer who served in it in the 1980s. Then (from 1991 to 1998) he worked as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. But he was subsequently accused of pedophilia after trying to arrange a date with underage girls on the Internet (in all cases, the “girls” were police officers). On these charges, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. In 2014, he was released, but his “analytics” was in demand only from the Russian propaganda media. In particular, Ritter accused Ukraine of killings in Bucha, called Joe Biden a war criminal and claimed that Poland was trying to occupy the western regions of Ukraine.

Thus, propagandists use beneficial “experts” without due attention to their reputation. They nourish the narrative of the West, which wants “to destroy” Ukraine and Poland, which wants to take western Ukrainian lands for itself. Detector Media has already investigated this narrative and explained why it is dangerous for Ukrainians.

Manipulation Chicken “rejected” from Poland was brought to Ukraine to poison Ukrainians

Such a message was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the Poles are trying to poison the Ukrainians. Allegedly, chicken with salmonellosis was brought from Poland to Ukraine. This is manipulation.

The experts of the VoxCheck project investigated the case and found out that the State Consumer Service did receive reports of the export of hazardous products from other countries, in particular Poland. Products were exported from Egypt through Poland to Ukraine. So, the Polish company acted only as an intermediary between companies from Egypt and Ukraine. However, as fact-checkers explain, there is no question of a deliberate attempt at poisoning since, in general, the Egyptian producer supplied meat not only to Ukraine, but also to Latvia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia and the Comoros. All recipient countries received a notification asking them to withdraw the received product from the market.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to sow panic among Ukrainians and discredit the export of goods and products to Ukraine. They say that Ukrainians are treated with disdain, and therefore they supply low-quality goods.

We recall that earlier Detector Media analyzed a manipulation that Kharkiv residents were being poisoned with foreign cookies, and explained a case about the importation of “rejected” rice from Italy.

Manipulation The Polish government is forcing Ukrainian refugees to return the money provided earlier

Propagandists are spreading the news that the Polish government is forcing Ukrainian refugees to return previously provided support payments. Like, the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita published an article about this. This is manipulation.

Analysts of the Georgian project MythDetector drew attention to it. They found out that the publication cited by the propagandists really says that the Polish Social Security Service is trying to return funds paid “without legal grounds” to Ukrainian refugees. This applies to those who left the territory of Poland immediately after receiving public funds. Also, this practice only applies to payments under the programs “500+”, which is cash support for children, and “300+”, which is paid to cover the cost of school goods.

On January 28, 2023, an amendment to the Polish Law “On the Support of Ukrainian Citizens” was adopted, according to which payments stop being paid when the guardian or child leaves the territory of Poland and does not return to it within 30 days. Service Speaker Pavel Zhebrovsky notes that payments do not stop if these persons return to Poland within a certain time.

Thus, propagandists want to show that even the closest allies are tired of helping ungrateful Ukrainians. In addition, such messages are created to cause distrust of the Polish government and support the narrative about the seizure of Western Ukrainian lands by Poland. Like, today they help, tomorrow they take the money, and the day after tomorrow they are already in your house. Detector Media has already explored this narrative, which is present in a number of propaganda materials.

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.

Fake In Lviv, they rent out apartments preparing for the occupation by Poland

The propagandists distribute images that allegedly show an ad on OLX for renting out an apartment. According to it, “in case of the transfer of the city's territories to the jurisdiction of another state, the tenant is obliged to fulfill his obligations in full in accordance with the current lease agreement. A unique opportunity to move to Europe in one day without leaving your apartment!” The authors of messages with images in social networks add that they say that this indicates the imminent occupation of the western lands of Ukraine by Poland. It's fake.

VoxCheck analysts drew attention to it. They found the ads through the Internet Archive. The author posted it on the announcement platform on January 30 this year. At the moment, it is no longer on OLX, as well as on other platforms for finding rental properties. There are many inaccuracies in the ad itself, which is also a sign of its fakeness, in particular, the eighth floor is indicated in its text, and the second in the categories from OLX. The poster's author registered on the site in January and probably did so in order to place it, since there are no other publications in his profile. It is also impossible to find an image from an ad in an Internet search.

Thus, propagandists want to intimidate Ukrainians in the West and transfer the role of the aggressor to Western countries. They are trying to justify their aggression by “the actions of the West”. Like, today the West helps you, and tomorrow it takes your lands. Detector Media explained how Russians use this narrative in the context of Poland.

Fake During a visit to Warsaw, Joe Biden fell down the stairs of a plane

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, in telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that upon Joe Biden's arrival in Warsaw, when getting off the plane, he caught on the stairs and fell down. The authors of the messages add that “this is the president's foreign policy”. A video is added to the publication, where you can see that Joe Biden is rolling down the stairs. It is not true.

Analysts of the MythDetector project investigated this case and found that Joe Biden is not depicted on the distributed shot. In a video broadcast by the Polish TV channel TVN24, one can see that it was actually one of the members of the US delegation who fell while trying to go down. Analysts explain that this shot was cut from a TVN24 special, but the full version is freely available. Therefore, one can watch it and make sure that a member of the delegation fell, leaving the back of the plane, and Joe Biden got out of the front without any incidents.

Propagandists systematically spread fakes about Ukrainian partners in order to discredit them. Thus, Russian propaganda uses the tactics of ridicule and tries to create the illusion that Ukrainian partners are despised. Drawing parallels with the so-called fall and the results of “foreign policy”, the authors of the messages want to emphasize that the decisions of the West on Russia are “meaningless and unworthy of attention”.

Fake In Poland, they amend legislation to send troops to Ukraine

Pro-Russian and occupation telegram channels are circulating reports that Poland is amending legislation to send 10,000 to 40,000 troops to Ukraine under the guise of mercenaries and employees of a private military company (PVK). Like, the Polish military would like to go to the front under their own flag, but NATO will not allow this, because then the North Atlantic Alliance will become a participant in the war. It is also alleged that Poland is adopting a law to legalize “mercenaries” who are already fighting in Ukraine and compensation to the families of the victims. It is not true.

There are no foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. The law on the legalization of Polish mercenaries in Poland is also not being prepared. According to VoxCheck, the authors of the messages refer to the so-called “military” expert and editor of the “Arsenal of the Fatherland" publication Oleksii Leonkov, who systematically promotes Russian and Belarusian propaganda narratives. Leonkov does not provide any evidence to support his words about the arrival of the Polish military in Ukraine under the guise of mercenaries and PVK employees.

Fake stories about foreign mercenaries in Ukraine have been repeatedly refuted. The propagandists claimed that the military from the EU countries fought on the territory of Ukraine even before the full-scale invasion, or the number of foreigners in the Ukrainian army would soon exceed 50%. To confirm the message about Polish mercenaries in Ukraine, Russian propaganda disfigured the quote by the Minister of Defense of Poland. The Russians claimed that in Poland they began to openly recruit Ukrainian tank troops. It was also said that Polish professional soldiers were dying in Ukraine, and a special cemetery had allegedly been created for them. Thus, propagandists are trying to downplay the combat effectiveness of the Ukrainian army, which has been resisting the Russians for a year now, and explain their own failures by the fact that they are allegedly fighting against a stronger enemy than they expected.

Manipulation In Poland, Biden promised Ukrainians “difficult times”

Information is spreading on social networks and on Russian resources that US President Joseph Biden promised Ukraine “difficult times” during his speech in Poland. Like, Biden's speechwriters tried to build his speech in Warsaw as a winner's speech, but they only succeeded in fixing the intermediate results of the “conflict” between the West and Russia, in which Ukraine was assigned the role of a tool. This is manipulation.

The propagandists took the words of the American president out of context. During a speech in Poland, Joseph Biden said that the next five years are likely to be decisive for the world and the world's democracies. He expressed the same thesis during a speech in Kyiv the day before. Moreover, Biden stressed that Ukraine will never be Putin's victory and he will lose. At the same time, propagandists ignored the part of the speech in which Biden spoke about the plight of Russia.

Thus, Russian propaganda nourishes narratives about “external control” in Ukraine and “Russia’s war with the West on the territory of Ukraine”. Russian propaganda systematically uses quotes from politicians, distorted or taken out of context, to publish wishful thinking. Detector Media highlighted the key disinformation messages about the visit of the American president to Kyiv. More details.

Fake Ukrainians ask Putin to “regain their common sense”

Such a fake was spread on social networks, including the Georgian segment of Facebook. The report says that a rally was held in Poland, where Ukrainians asked Putin for help. The authors of the message add to the publication a photo where people are holding a poster with the inscription: “Putin, give us back common sense”. It is not true.

Analysts of the Myth Detector project investigated this case and found that the photo was taken using a graphic editor, the inscription was superimposed on the original photo. The real photo was taken in Warsaw during the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine in 2014. The rally was organized by the public movement “Euromaidan” in Warsaw. The participants went to the Embassy of Ukraine in Warsaw and honored the memory of those who died during the events of the Revolution of Dignity. Deputies of the Polish Seimas, in particular, joined the action.

The real photos show posters with the following slogans: “Support of the Poles’ hearts is the result of the Ukrainians’s gratitude” and “Let us unite in the fight against the aggression of a common enemy - Putin”.

Manipulation Polish Defense Minister believes that Polish “mercenaries” in Ukraine are not a problem

Such messages are distributed in pro-Russian telegram channels. Like, on the air of Polish television, Mariusz Blashchak was asked how many Polish “mercenaries” are fighting in Ukraine, despite the criminal liability for hiring. It seems that he answered this question that this is not a big figure and this is not a problem. This is manipulation.

In fact, Mariusz Blaszczak was asked about the Polish military who are fighting in Ukraine. There was no mention of criminal liability either in the question or in the answer. The Polish minister said that a small number of Poles are fighting in Ukraine, and the opposition artificially exaggerates the problem.

Russian propaganda took Blashak's words out of context and deliberately uses the term “mercenaries”. Under Polish law, Poles must obtain the consent of the Polish Ministry of Defense to serve in a foreign army. That is, those who have received this permission sign a contract and fight in the ranks of the Ukrainian army. Otherwise, the Poles are fighting as volunteers, that is, they do not receive financial rewards from Ukraine, which means they are not mercenaries. Poland is considering the possibility of amending the legislation in order to regulate the issues of volunteers fighting in Ukraine.

Propagandists constantly spread disinformation about the participation of the Poles in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Previously, they claimed that in Poland it was open to recruit Ukrainian tank troops. It was also said that Polish professional soldiers were dying in Ukraine, and a special cemetery had allegedly been created for them.

Fake Poles are urged to “protect the original Polish lands in Ukraine”

Russian propagandists spread information that in Poland, namely in the Warsaw metro, you can allegedly see public service announcements with a call to “protect the original Polish lands in Ukraine”. The authors of the messages claim that in this way Poland is preparing to seize the western regions of Ukraine. It's fake.

Analysts of the VoxCheck project came to the conclusion that the posters are not real. This is indicated by the link posted on the poster. It is not valid because instead of the referenced WKU, according to the updated Polish law, it should be WCR. The reason for this is that the Military Commander's Offices (WKU) in Poland have been replaced by Military Recruiting Centers (WCRs) that recruit volunteers for military service. In addition, in a commentary for Ukrinform, Grzegorz Popielaž, director of the rental and advertising office for the Warsaw metro, said that the metro does not have such advertisements. The propagandists took the old 2018 announcement for the recruitment of volunteers for the Polish army as the basis for fake posters.

Russian propaganda often frightens with the “imminent attack” of Poland on the western lands, diverting attention from their own crimes with baseless accusations. Detector Media has already investigated disinformation related to this topic.

Fake Poland builds up military power not to defend against Russia, but to seize Ukraine

This is stated in one of the columns in the Polish publication Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny, which regularly publishes pro-Russian disinformation regarding Ukraine and Poland. Russian resources disseminated this point of view as a journalistic investigation. They say that foreign military equipment is being accumulated on the eastern border of Poland, the army is being strengthened, but not for a direct clash with Russia, but to suppress uprisings in case of the return of the western territories of Ukraine.

The author of the column, Marek Gala, claims that the alleged militarization of Poland indicates preparations for a conflict through the territory of Ukraine, and Warsaw is strengthening its military potential in order to subsequently protect the territories returned to itself from possible rebellions.

He believes that the process of transferring the western lands to the former Ukraine seems to have been planned for a long time and began from the first days of the Russian special operation.

Russian propagandists in their publications add to his column the assertion that it is Ukraine that intends to give up the western territories of Poland and that this is a matter of time. At the same time the Polish readers are just against Poland seizing the western part of Ukraine, because they believe that geopolitical ambitions are not worth the blood of the Poles.

This is not the first time propagandists have been distributing the materials of this Polish publication and each time they add their version of events in favor of Russia and expose Poland as an occupying country. Russians need such fakes in order to quarrel Poles and Ukrainians both at the private and interstate levels.

Fake In Poland, anti-Ukrainian billboards were found

Russian publications distribute photos that allegedly depict a billboard with the Polish words “To nie jest nasza wojna” (This is not our war) against the background of the Ukrainian and Russian flags. The poster also features prosthetic legs wearing khaki trousers. According to propagandists, the poster symbolizes Poland's desire “to distance” itself from the war. It's fake.

StopFake and mythdetector.ge report that this photo was taken with the help of the Mediamodifier website. On it, one can insert any photo into the billboard template and the image search confirms this. The basis of the template is one image.

With such messages, Russian propaganda wants to illustrate Poland as an enemy of Ukraine, and that Polish people are tired of the war. The narrative about “Poland the aggressor” is one of the most widespread in Russian propaganda at the moment. By spreading such messages, Russia seeks to reinforce the view that even Ukraine's most loyal partners in this war are getting tired of it and will soon stop helping with money and weapons.

Fake Military training in Poland should persuade Polish fighters to advance on Moscow and Kaliningrad

Such a fake was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Poland is not only preparing to take the territories of Western Ukraine, but will also try to cut off part of Belarus or Russia. Polish President Andrzej Duda allegedly wants to implement a plan for the restoration of the territories of the Rzeczpospolita (Poland republic) and will do everything possible for this. The authors of the reports add that the alleged military training planned for March will be an offensive campaign into these territories. It is not true.

As the fact-checkers of the EU vs Disinfo project explain, this is stuffing and a conspiracy theory of Russian propaganda. In the Polish segment of social networks and in the media, in particular, there is indeed information about military training, but this is a project of the Ministry of Defense, which is designed to train reservists during 2023. Reservists are persons liable for military service, but in peacetime they are leading service in a civilian way and making a career outside the armed forces. Therefore, they can study for one day or up to 90 days.

There was no talk of an attack. Poland respects international law regarding state borders and fully supports the independence and territorial integrity of neighboring countries.

Propagandists are spreading this message to once again promote the narrative of Poland being a hostile state to Ukraine. In this way, the authors of the messages want to discredit our allies, who, they say, really want to cut off the territories and pretend to be benevolent.

Fake Poles are recruited into Ukrainian troops

Such a fake was spread on social networks, in particular, on a telegram channel broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. Reports say that in Poland they began to openly recruit Ukrainian tank troops. Like, the Polish authorities are trying to recruit a crew for the German Leopard tanks, which will come to Ukraine. As evidence, the propagandists attach a video clip showing this “announcement”. The authors of the message cite the slogan allegedly depicted on it: “Protect Polish homeland. Be a tanker. Protect Poland in Ukraine”. There is no such announcement, it's not true.

Analysts of The Insider project investigated this case and found that for the first time information about such a poster appeared in the telegram channel of the Russian segment. The video clip itself was filmed at the Centrum station of the Warsaw metro. For the fake poster, they used the corporate identity of the “Become a soldier of the republic” campaign, which started in 2018. However, the authors of the messages did not take into account the corporate logo of the campaign, which was still not placed on the poster. So the fake announcement was just overlaid on the video. As for the campaign itself, it is aimed at recruiting people for contract service in the Polish army, so it has nothing to do with recruiting volunteers to participate in the war. So there was no such poster with an appeal.

By spreading this fake, propagandists nourish the narrative that everything is bad in Ukraine, that there is no one to fight, so the Ukrainian leadership resorts to such tricks and wants to recruit foreigners. Now the authors of the messages want to convince the readers that Poland wants to cut off our territories and thus, by mobilizing the Poles, will try to return them.

Message Poles want to enslave Ukrainians since childhood

This message was circulated on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Ukraine plans to include the Polish language in the list of subjects for which it is possible to take an EIT (external independent test). According to the authors of the message, the Ukrainian authorities want Ukrainians to assimilate under the Poles from their school years. Like, Poland will gradually enslave the Ukrainians, which will help it seize the territory of Ukraine.

The Ministry of reintegration explained the possible introduction of the Polish language into the list of exams by the fact that uniting with the Poles is the key to the sustainable development of states, and education and language are the main tools with which such an association begins.

Taking the EIT in foreign languages is not a mandatory component of passing the exam, except for taking the exam in English in the form of the DPA (state final examination). German, French, Spanish and subsequently Polish will remain subjects chosen by the applicants themselves.

Moreover, Poland is also introducing the Ukrainian language into its educational space: Poland recognizes Ukrainian documents on basic general secondary education (grade 9 of graduation certificates). Also, the results of the EIT are counted for admission to Polish higher education institutions. The Poles announced their readiness to introduce the Ukrainian language into the list of subjects. That is why communication is taking place on both sides, the main goal of which is to strengthen the educational sphere of the two sovereign fellow states.

Propagandists use this message to nourish the narrative that Poland is seeking to take over Ukraine, in particular, to cut off the territory of the western regions. However, Poland does not plan to annex the territories of Ukraine, but on the contrary, it remains a devoted strategic partner that helps Ukrainians fight the enemy.

Message Poland benefits from the war in Ukraine lasting as long as possible

A network of telegram channels run by Russian intelligence is spreading the message that Poland is receiving huge sums of money for the repair of Ukrainian military equipment, and therefore is interested in continuing the war.

This is another Russian propaganda message about Poland, which seems to be the most interested party in the war. From the very beginning of the war, propaganda has been writing about Poland, which seems to be planning to divide Ukraine and annex or occupy the western part of Ukraine. Also, propaganda constantly promotes the message that Poland received a lot of cheap labor at the expense of Ukrainian refugees. Now propaganda is spreading the thesis that Poland seems to receive at least 10 billion dollars for the repair of Ukrainian military equipment. These figures are not supported by anything, but on January 29, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the repair of Ukrainian military equipment in Poland, which talked about a secret repair factory that restores artillery and armored vehicles. Poland will continue to repair damaged equipment, including American and European tanks, in the future, journalists write.

Poland is one of the most important partners of Ukraine, and Russian propaganda is constantly trying to present Poland as the aggressor or beneficiary of the war, once again trying to shift the responsibility for the invasion, in particular, to the United States and NATO countries.

Message West of Ukraine is to be given to Poland if Warsaw pays US debt instead of Kyiv

Russian propaganda spreads the message to the Western audience that allegedly Poland can receive part of the Ukrainian territories as “compensation” for paying the “Ukrainian debt” to the United States.

This message has no legal basis and is an invention of Russian propaganda. Thus, they are trying to promote the narrative about Poland's plans to seize part of the Ukrainian territories. EU vs Disinfo analysts drew attention to the spread of the message.

Earlier, as part of this narrative, propagandists spread messages that Poland considers the West of Ukraine to be its “colony”, that Poland needs the territory of Ukraine without Ukrainians. The propagandists also spread fakes about the referendum on the accession of the West of Ukraine to Poland and photos of voting ballots for the secession of the Lviv region from Ukraine and joining Poland.