Disinfo: Soviet troops waiting for the Warsaw Uprising to bleed out is a myth


Affirmations that the Red Army waited along the shores of the Vistula river in Warsaw in 1944 while Nazi troops crushed the insurrection of Polish rebels because Stalin wanted to destroy Polish nationalist forces are a myth, as shown by newly declassified documents from Russia’s Ministry of Defence. Actually, the Soviet troops lacked the means to launch a whole offensive to liberate the city, but they managed to supply the rebels with weapons, ammunition and food. In any case, the so-called Armia Krajowa or National Army hailed as the only true heroes by the Polish government actually became armed gangs who terrorised the Polish population after the liberation.


This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray the Red Army as liberators of Eastern Europe and not as its occupiers. The current disinformation campaign against Poland was launched in reaction to the resolution of the European Parliament in September 2019 on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, expressing deep concern on the efforts of the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime. This resolution was perceived by the Kremlin historians as an act of aggression.

Actually, the occupation and ‘sovietisation’ of Poland and the rest of the Eastern Bloc was achieved with terror, mass repressions, nationalisation of industry, expropriation of privately owned land, environmental disasters, destruction of the market economy and restrictions of civil and political freedoms. Writing about the Warsaw Uprising, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki clarified that “the Red Army stared on idly at the agony of Warsaw. The city’s two uprisings, the first in the Jewish ghetto in 1943, the second in the entire city in 1944, were evidence of the ruthlessness of German crimes. But while the people of Warsaw waited hopefully for help, Joseph Stalin never ordered the Red Army to intervene.” This has also been the conclusion of professional historians for the last 75 years.

According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the declassified documents published by Russia do not bring any significant new information on Soviet operations during 1944-1945. The institute also states that during this period, the Soviet Union, at the same time as fighting Germany, pursued a consistent policy aimed at preventing the reconstruction of the independent Republic of Poland. The Soviet documents falsely present the Polish Home Army self-defence actions against Soviet enslavement, massive repression and murders by the NKVD and other formations in the parts of Poland occupied by the USSR as "terrorist activities", hiding the entire Soviet policy against Poland's independence in 1944-1945.

See other examples of disinformation on this topic, such as the terrorist activities of the Polish Home Army, how its supposed cooperation with Nazi forces made them rich thanks to concentration camps, the alleged lawfulness of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact or the claims that Poland and the Baltics are distorting WWII history.


  • Reported in: Issue183
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: USSR, Red Army, Historical revisionism, WWII


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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