DISINFO: Polish view on the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 goes against historical facts
  • Outlet: pl.sputniknews.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: November 26, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Polish
  • Reported in: Issue 181
  • Countries / regions discussed: Poland, Ukraine, Russia
WWI Military Historical revisionism Anti-Russian Red Army USSR

DISINFO: Polish view on the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 goes against historical facts


The Polish rightist circles have traditionally presented the War of 1920 in a way entirely opposite for historical facts. The War of 1920 was triggered by Josef Pilsudski against the will of the Polish Government and Parliament. The goal of this war was to realize the Federation concept of Pilsudski – primarily, he needed to create anti-Russian Ukraine. That is why the attack of the Polish troops took place in the direction of Ukraine, but not to the area of concentration of the Bolshevik forces. Poland won the War of 1920 as a result of the weakness of the enemy and skills of the Polish generals, primarily, the Head of General Staff Tadeusz Rozwadowski. It is a historical fact that in the critical moment of the battle, Josef Pilsudski had a nervous breakdown and gave away the command to Rozwadowski, who had de facto won this battle.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it accuses Poland of “falsification and re-writing” of its history. According to this policy, the Russian official historiography is the only “true” way of interpretation of historical events for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 started in February 1919, immediately after the end of WWI. As a result of the Soviet westward offensive of 1918–1919, the Bolshevik troops tried to advance as deep as possible into the territory of the former Western regions of the collapsed Russian Empire. In February 1919, the advancing Bolshevik forces entered into clashes with the units of the Polish Army. The Polish-Soviet War lasted until October 1920 – it resulted in the signing of the Peace of Riga (March 1921), in which Soviet Russia recognized the independence of the Polish state. The statement that “Pilsudski started the war of 1920” or other talks about the “War of 1920” is a historical manipulation as the Polish-Soviet War started in February 1919. The Polish offensive on the Ukrainian direction in April 1920 was a part of this military conflict. This offensive was realized together with the Armed forces of the Ukrainian People’s Republic led by Symon Petliura in order to push the Bolshevik forces out of Ukraine and improve the military positions of Poland in its war with Soviet Russia. Regarding the role of Jozef Pilsudski during the Battle of Warsaw, historical documents prove that he had full command over this entire operation – General Rozwadowski was his subordinate realizing the orders of the Chief Commander. Read similar examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning Poland - It is thanks to Russia that Poland today exists as a country, Nazi Germany considered Poland its best ally, USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Polish legions of Pilsudski organized the Volyn tragedy.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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