Disinfo: In 1921, Western Ukraine and Western Belarus were inhabited mainly by the Russian-speaking population


The Treaty of Riga, signed on March 18, 1921, resulted in a significant change of the Soviet-Polish border. According to this Treaty, the territory of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, inhabited mainly by the Russian-speaking population, was passed under the control of Warsaw.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and imperialism – it promotes the old imperial idea that the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages do not exist but are simply the “Russian” language.

The claim that in 1921 Western Ukraine and Western Belarus were inhabited mainly by the Russian-speaking population is incorrect. There is solid historical evidence that at the beginning of XX century, on the territory of contemporary Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, the Russian language was spoken by a minority of the population in large cities, as the dominant languages of these regions were Belarusian/Ukrainian, Polish and Yiddish (for example, see the results of the Russian Empire Census of 1897). According to the Polish Census of 1921, there were only 48 thousand Russians living in Poland (including the territory of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus).

The Russian language started to be increasingly used in these regions in the second half of the XX century, under the influence of the harsh Soviet policy of Russification. Read more about the Russian Empire and Soviet policy of Russification, which caused the spread of the Russian language in present-day Belarus and Ukraine.

Read more about the Ukrainian and Belarusian People’s Republics born in 1918. Read other examples of the Russian “imperialist” claims: Poland and Ukraine have a “slave syndrome” towards Russia, trying to harm their former Master; Belarus will either become part of Russia or the West's poor colony and Myth about Ukraine as a separate nation was created in the USSR.


  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: WWI, Military, Imperialism/colonialism, Russian expansionism, Russian language, Historical revisionism
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The West needs cases like Navalny to fill its information wars

The main obsession of European leaders has been to get Russia to pay a price for the luxury of living its own style, without consulting anyone. It is clear that if the West invests millions in information wars, it needs concrete cases to cover, to try to pit the public opinion against Russia. According to this approach, the Navalny case fills all the requirements. This is not a struggle for democracy or human rights, but a global power struggle. And it is clear that the EU will never be its main beneficiary, since its role is being reduced to be a mere instrument of the US global policy.


This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West waging information wars in order to destabilise Russia, about the case of Alexei Navalny as a fabrication, and about Europe as a vassal of the US.

All the claims are false. “Information war” is a term used by the Kremlin to justify its own disinformation efforts, applied to anything that challenges its disinformation narratives or for calling out Russia’s illicit behaviour in the international stage. By claiming that the Navalny case “fills the requirement of an information war against Russia” and that it has nothing to do with democracy or human rights but with a global power struggle, this narrative aims to deflect any Russian responsibility for Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, his incarceration on politically motivated charges and the repression of demonstrations in his support.

The West encouraged the creation of the Islamic State, who are its mercenaries

The West wants to be the standard bearer of freedom and democracy, but they are the same people who encouraged the creation of ISIS. The US created the monster of the Islamic State, which was neither Islamic nor a State but a group of mercenaries led by the West.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West’s alleged support for terrorism in the Middle East.

The claim that the West created the Islamic State is false. In fact, both the US and most EU members, as well as Canada and Australia, have taken part in the counter-terrorism mission Operation Inherent Resolve, while the EU established its own set of actions to counter Daesh.

Joe Biden will use US allies as tools or useful idiots

The National Security Strategic Guidance released by the Biden Administration wants to attract the faithful to go against China and Russia, to attract vassals disguised as allies. Many rubbed their hands with the arrival of Biden, but at the end there will be only one winner, the US, while its allies will be used as useful idiots: they will be only subjects or tools. Once it defeats its enemies, the US will prevail over its friends and the looting will go to the strongest because benefits are not shared.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative against the US and its allies, aiming to sow mistrust among members of the Transatlantic alliance and among the US and its partners all over the world. This disinformation piece is a direct reaction to the release of the US Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on March 3, 2021, which strongly focuses on reinforcing these alliances, a core goal of the Biden Administration. Contrary to the claim, the US doesn’t rule over these other governments, which are sovereign nations with their own policies and interests.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that Ukraine is ruled by Poles and Americans, that France is a puppet of the US, that Germany and Japan are occupied by the US, that Europe is a colony of the United States or that Georgia is under Western control.