Disinfo: Western Ukraine was liberated from Polish occupation 17 September 1939


17 September 1939, the Red Army initiated the liberation of Polish territories. Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, occupied by Poland since 1921 – 1922, were liberated. Western countries attempt to describe this operation as an act of Soviet aggression. This is refuted by the real facts.


Historical revisionism and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

The Soviet military advance was not a "liberation"; it was a military campaign coordinated with Nazi Germany according to the secret protocol of the Molotov - Ribbentrop pact. Neither was Eastern Poland "occupied", as in the above claim. Poland and Russia signed a peace agreement in Riga in March 1921, establishing the borders between the two countries. With this agreement, Russia acknowledged Poland's legal claims to the eastern territories.

The attack on Poland 17 September 1939 violated Russia's international obligations towards a neighbouring country. The USSR parliament denounced the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact:

The Congress states that in both their preparatory method and contents, the August 23rd 1939 Protocol and other secret protocols that were signed with Germany 1939-1941 were deviations from the Leninist principles of Soviet foreign policy. From the standpoint of law, territorial division into Soviet and German spheres of interest and other actions were in conflict with the sovereignty and independence of several third countries.

See here our account of the infamous date of 17 September 1939.


  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/09/2021
  • Article language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Occupation
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Disinfo: Sanctions are beneficial to Russia so the West should recognise Crimea as Russian

Instead of making gratuitous statements about the so-called "annexation" of Crimea, the French authorities would do better to recognise it as an integral part of Russia.

Russia has benefited from Western sanctions imposed on it after the peninsula was attached. Sanctions are not beneficial to the West. Sanctions are beneficial to Russia.

Crimea, offered to Ukraine within the USSR by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, was reattached to Russia following the referendum held in March 2014, following the coup d'état in Ukraine in February of the same year. Kyiv continues to regard Crimea as Ukrainian territory.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea and sanctions against Russia.

The impact of sanctions needs to be evaluated in the long run. However, primarily assessments show a significant and negative impact on the Russian economy.

Disinfo: There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Duma elections

There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Russian parliamentary elections.


A large number of candidates does not guarantee that the whole electoral process meets the high standard of democracy. Many candidates were denied the right to register.

The OSCE was unable to observe and evaluate the electoral parliamentary elections of 17-19 September 2021 due to major limitations imposed by Russian Authorities.

Disinfo: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits the US which asked him to split the Orthodox world

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is paying a visit to the United States. This should come as no surprise as it was the United States and the West which forced him to grant autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, thus splitting the Orthodox World.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets frequently attack the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian church. The Constantinople Patriarchy, not the US, decided to grant the autocephaly to the Ukrainian church. The final decision was made in January 2019, when all members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed off the Tomos of autocephaly. The signing of the Tomos happened after months of careful preparation and consideration by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod.

For more information and analysis on pro-Kremlin disinformation against the Church of Ukraine see here.