Disinfo: The Polish authoritarian state may brutally attack any of its citizens for his views and opinions


At any time, a Polish citizen may lose his freedom, health, and all his life achievements – his country will be ready to destroy him at any moment. In Poland, you can be brutally attacked by the authoritarian state machine without any legal reasons – only because someone does not like what you write and say. This situation happened to Leonid Sviridov, but he was lucky not to be a Polish citizen, so today, he lives and works far away from Poland.


This message is a part of the narrative about the lack of real democracy in Western countries, in this case, it promotes the idea that “authoritarian” Poland may “brutally punish its citizens for their opinions and views”.

Poland is a Democratic country, which respects Human Rights and does not discriminate or oppress any persons because of their personal opinions.

The situation around Leonid Sviridov (a Russian journalist working in Poland before 2015) should not be considered as evidence for any “systemic discrimination against Russian citizens in Poland”. The Polish special services started to investigate the case of Sviridov in 2014 because he was suspected of espionage in favour of the Russian special services. In December 2015, he had to leave Poland.

See other examples of similar messages claiming that constant intimidation with Russia is used to make Poland economically dependent on the USA, the Polish authorities created an insane hysteria of intimidation with Russia, used for the needs of domestic politics and Polish media promote the idea that the Russians are not people, but the “agents of the Kremlin”.


  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Poland
  • Keywords: Repression, Rule of law, Democracy, Human rights, Dictatorship, Freedom of speech, Conspiracy theory


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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