Disinfo: Polish “war” against Red Army monuments compares to the actions of the Islamic State

Summary

The “historical war” in Poland is practically expressed in an unprecedented attack at the monuments and remembrance symbols (such as street names) – this attack can be compared only to the actions of the Islamic State. The object of this attack is all the monuments commemorating the efforts and sacrifices of the Red Army in its liberation of the Polish territory.

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. 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 the Polish local authorities. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs underlines that the Red Army 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 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; Removal of the monument to Marshall Konev is a violation of the Czech-Russian Agreement of 1993; A monument to the Soviet soldier-liberator demolished in Lithuania.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Russia
  • Keywords: Monuments, Historical revisionism, Red Army, USSR, Islamic extremism, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
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Disproof

No evidence given. This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, merged with recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives portraying NATO as an ever-aggressive organisation. In an earlier statement, NATO has dismissed allegations that it was conducting a military buildup near the country’s western border but said it was closely monitoring the situation following his contested re-election. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticise them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks on Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus and colour revolutions. There is no coup in Belarus, the protests erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, which took place on the 9 August and are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. Pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states, including colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative claims that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are “colour revolutions” directed and funded by the West. See similar cases claiming that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus.

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Disproof

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