Russia is utilizing disinformation to stir animosity between Poles and Ukrainians, warns the spokesman for Poland’s safety companies. For instance, he pointed to the response to a current killing in Warsaw, which the Polish far proper falsely sought accountable on Ukrainians.
“Russian disinformation actions in opposition to Poland give attention to arousing hostility between Poles and Ukrainians”, together with by “try[ing] to persuade Poles that by accepting refugees from Ukraine they’re exposing themselves to financial disaster, safety dangers and social issues”, wrote Stanisław Żaryn.
That was the case with an incident earlier this month, when a person died after being stabbed throughout a battle on Nowy Świat, a road in central Warsaw, he continued.
After the homicide case in Nowy Swiat (in Warsaw) disinformation actions have been recognized to persuade the society that the homicide was because of the coverage of accepting Ukrainian refugees in Poland. That was a lie. https://t.co/lB5LjYmMHs
— Stanisław Żaryn (@StZaryn) May 30, 2022
In a video of the assault, voices talking in Ukrainian could possibly be heard. Nevertheless, it was clear that they have been coming from behind the digicam. Nonetheless, some social media customers claimed – with none proof – that the assault had been carried out by Ukrainians.
That narrative was instantly picked up by the far proper, together with Confederation (Konfederacja), a celebration that sits in parliament. Its leaders held press conferences blaming the incident on foreigners and claiming that it was a results of the Legislation and Justice (PiS) authorities’s immigration insurance policies.
“Foreigners stabbed a Pole who was attempting to defend a girl,” wrote Robert Winnicki, a Confederation MP. “In current months immigrants working as drivers in Warsaw have dedicated dozens of rapes…The mass immigration coverage pursued by PiS has ‘Western’ results.”
🧵on how Polish far proper – together with MPs and authorized physique Ordo Iuris – have exploited a loss of life in Warsaw to stir anti-Ukrainian sentiment at a time when Poland has welcomed hundreds of thousands of 🇺🇦 refugees.
They claimed a foreigner was accountable, nevertheless it now appears that wasn’t the case 1/?
— Daniel Tilles (@danieltilles1) May 15, 2022
Even earlier than welcoming hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s conflict, Poland had one of many highest charges of immigration within the EU. For 4 years working it has issued extra first residence permits to non-EU residents than another member state. A majority of these arrivals have been additionally from Ukraine.
Confederation has lengthy protested in opposition to that inflow. In 2019, Winnicki warned that “the federal government, by opening up the nation to mass immigration, is repeating the catastrophic path of the West”. He added that “preserving cultural, ethnic and non secular cohesion is crucial problem for our nation”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Confederation has been the one occasion in parliament to oppose measures supposed to help refugees, who it argues are being given unfair “privileges” on the expense of Poles.
Media boycott Polish far-right press convention on Ukraine refugee “privileges”
One other outstanding determine, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the pinnacle of ultraconservative authorized physique Ordo Iuris, additionally responded to the current incident in Warsaw by warning that Poland was following the trail of another European international locations.
Poland will need to have “both a coverage of zero tolerance and nil political correctness or a slide in the direction of ‘no-go zones’ and tolerated violence”, tweeted Kwaśniewski, whose organisation has led influential campaigns in opposition to “LGBT ideology” and in favour of tightening the abortion legislation.
But it quickly started to emerge that in reality the perpetrators of the assault on Nowy Świat have been prone to be Polish. This was later confirmed by police and prosecutors, who revealed the names and pictures of the 2 males – each Polish – they have been searching for on suspicion of finishing up the killing.
Policjanci Komendy Rejonowej Policji Warszawa I na podstawie listu gończego wydanego przez Prokuraturę Okręgową w Warszawie poszukują Sebastiana Włodarczyka lat 23 i Łukasza Goławskiego lat 27 w związku z zabójstwem przy ul. Nowy Świat w Warszawie w dniu 8 maja 2022r. pic.twitter.com/Ee4yzSDM7C
— Policja Warszawa (@Policja_KSP) May 23, 2022
In his assertion immediately, Żaryn famous that the preliminary disinformation surrounding the incident was supposed to “pursue the Kremlin’s political pursuits” by exploiting “feelings in society” to create “info chaos” and “hostility between Poles and Ukrainians”.
Żaryn didn’t title any particular people and teams answerable for spreading such disinformation. Critics of Ordo Iuris and Confederation have accused them up to now of pushing the Kremlin’s agenda, and even of receiving Russian funding, however there is no such thing as a proof of such hyperlinks and each organisations deny it.
After it emerged that the perpetrators of the incident in Warsaw have been prone to be Polish, Kwaśniewski deleted his tweet, but in addition argued that he had by no means particularly blamed the assault on foreigners.
Śledczy twierdzą, że nieujęta osoba typowana na sprawcę jest pochodzenia polskiego.
Wbrew nagonce, nigdzie nie wskazywałem narodowości.
I wyjaśniałem, że w czasie wzmożonego zagrożenia konieczna jest jawność i polityka „zero tolerancji”. Tylko tak rozbraja się napięcia. https://t.co/dO56DGq4P1
— Jerzy Kwaśniewski (@jerzKwasniewski) May 13, 2022
Yesterday, in an interview with Onet, one of many leaders of Confederation, Krzysztof Bosak, admitted that he had “made a mistake” in blaming the killing on foreigners. However he refused to apologise, saying that his mistake had been to “imagine the media” and repeat what he had learn.
Nevertheless, after the assault in Warsaw, main Polish media retailers didn’t report the nationality of the attackers, which was in any case not recognized on the time. In his interview with Onet, Bosak didn’t point out which “media info” he was referring to.
The far-right chief additionally mentioned he “had doubts” concerning the police’s claims that Poles have been answerable for the incident. “I’ve witnessed circumstances of the police mendacity,” he defined, earlier than claiming that the authorities “keep away from giving nationality statistics” on crimes to cover the rising proportion dedicated by foreigners.
Okazuje się, że to nie byli cudzoziemcy tylko Polacy. Żałuje Pan tych słów?
Bosak: Powołałem się na informację medialną, o ile ona była nieprawdziwa, bo tu też mam wątpliwości
– Pan uważa, że listy gończe mogą być nieprawdziwe?
B: Byłem świadkiem kłamania przez policję… pic.twitter.com/wtySnsG4mp
— gromota (@gromotapl) May 30, 2022
Fundamental picture credit score: Jakub Orzechowski / Agencja Wyborcza.pl
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a variety of publications, together with Overseas Coverage, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.