Disinfo: Poland rewrites history erasing the names of Polish soldiers, who fought against Nazism

Summary

Taking attempts to rewrite history, Warsaw erases from remembrance the names of Polish soldiers, who fought against Nazism. Usually, such things are done by vandals and Russia also calls them acts of vandalism. The actions of the Polish authorities qualify to this definition, but we do not use these words towards the Polish Government only because we give it a chance to make amends for its actions.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative casting Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States as countries which do not respect the history of WWII and its heroes.

Background: The Polish Institute of National Remembrance took legal action to have the name of Sergiusz Iliaszewicz removed from the monument to Soviet paratroopers in Sokołów as this person took an active part in the fight against the Polish anti-Communist underground forces during and after WWII.

In 2017, Poland introduced new laws to ban totalitarian propaganda. According to this Law, up to 230 Soviet monuments may be replaced, a decision to be made by Polish local authorities. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs underlines that the Red Army's burial places and cemeteries located in Poland will be carefully protected. It is possible to dismantle and remove only symbolic monuments to the Red Army.

In 2015, Paweł Ukielski, Deputy Head of the Polish Institute of Historical Remembrance, published an open letter to the Russians, in which he explained the need to remove the symbolic monuments to the Red Army from Polish public places (text in Polish and Russian). According to him, free Poland perceives these monuments as symbols of captivity by the totalitarian USSR. In some cases, the Soviet monuments glorify the Red Army officers and generals, who were involved in war crimes against the Poles.

The Polish Government does not implement the centralised policy of replacement of the Red Army monuments, such decisions are taken by the local authorities.

Read similar cases connected to the issue of the Red Army monuments - Monuments to Soviet soldiers are massively demolished and damaged in Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries; Polish “war” against Red Army monuments compares to the actions of the Islamic State and Red Army monuments and cemeteries are methodologically destroyed in Poland.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Russia
  • Keywords: Monuments, Historical revisionism, Red Army, USSR, WWII, Maria Zakharova, Nazi/Fascist
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CIA was behind events in Vilnius in January 1991

Behind the events in Vilnius in 1991 was the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA taught and armed Lithuanian nationalists.

The group of CIA agents arrived in Vilnius at the end of 1990. The heads of the group were Andrew Eiva and Leonard Hof.

In 1991 Andrew Eiva armed people who were ready to defend the building of Supreme Council of Lithuania. He asked to equip defenders with guns, explosives and Molotov’s cocktails. Andrew Eiva organised explosions in homes and places of dislocation of the Soviet troops. He was head of the rebels who struggled with the Soviet forces.

To events in Vilnius also was linked “father of colour revolutions” Professor Gene Sharp.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring claim that behind the events of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius stood the US. The Lithuanian struggle for independence from the Soviet Union is presented as the first “colour revolution”.

This is part of the broad disinformation campaign linked to the commemoration of events when thirty years ago thousands of Lithuanians gathered at the TV tower, the Radio and Television headquarters and the Parliament building in the capital, Vilnius, to take a stand against Soviet troops deployed to crush Lithuanian independence. During events of January 13, 1991, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius, attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing civilians standing as human shields there. The events of January 13, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine calls for friendship with Russia

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine calls for friendship with Russia. Kyiv is confident that cooperation with Russia will resume after Ukraine stops the punitive operation in Donbas.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aiming to present Ukraine as the aggressor in its Eastern region, Donbas.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak did not make any "calls for friendship with Russia". His words were quoted incorrectly and manipulatively.

The campaign to combat the Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West's larger geopolitical strategy

In the Baltic countries and in particular in Latvia they have been trying to neutralise the alternative opinion for a quarter of a century. These are methodical actions to oust any Russian influence…

The campaign to combat Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West’s larger geopolitical strategy.

The reason for the Russophobic policy is primarily due to the fact that the collective West supports those who support this same Russophobic policy and carry out their tasks. The Baltic countries have been assigned to create a “cordon sanitaire” around Russia, which they call a geopolitical adversary. Actually, that’s why all this is happening. And the floor is given to those who are just sharpened for such an anti-Russian policy.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Russophobic West, painting Western governments as hostile toward "alternative voices" in the media, particularly Russian ones. Relevant disinformation claims can be found here, here and here.

This claim tries to portray EU sanctions on Russia, the result of its illegal actions in Ukraine, as unfair persecution against Sputnik and its employees, and against media freedom in general. In Latvia as well as in Lithuania and Estonia, Sputnik and RT are being accused of spreading disinformation, violating copyrights and acting as propaganda instruments. Different parties based their accusations on publicly available results of investigations conducted by relevant authorities and regulatory bodies as follows.