The Russian media began to spread information about Polish soldiers on the Ukrainian front. There was also news about heavy losses from the Polish side. Is this really the case, and is Poland really at war against the Russian Federation?
The first mentions of Polish soldiers in the Russian info field
As early as May 6, 2022, news appeared in the Russian information field that Polish political scientist Konrad Rekas said that «citizens of the Republic of Poland are already fighting in Ukraine, and these are not demonstrative volunteers, but mercenaries and sent there on the orders of the military.»
Renkas also noted that the Polish authorities would willingly occupy part of the territories of Western Ukraine, but Warsaw is waiting for a green signal from Washington. Only after that, they can try to create a new state there, formally Polish-Ukrainian, but under direct American control.
Who is Konrad Rekas?
Konrad Stanislav Rekas (born September 19, 1975, in Lublin) is a Polish pro-Russian journalist, politician, local government official, former councilor, and chairman of the Lublin Assembly.
State Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, Deputy Minister, and Coordinator of Special Services, Stanisław Zharyn spoke of him as a «political scientist» infamous for his pro-Russian views and involvement in the Kremlin’s propaganda activities.
The Russian Federation promotes a video with dead Polish soldiers
The so-called Z-channels in Telegram are sharing a video of Polish soldiers carrying a coffin, presumably with their fallen comrade. They claim that Polish military personnel is allegedly fighting in Ukraine, and they are being buried with military honors:
«Poles return home in closed coffins. Note that they are escorted in full accordance with military honors, as they are not mercenaries, but personnel soldiers on assignment. That is, Poland participates in the conflict not only with weapons but also sends its army to fight as part of the Armed Forces.
As the journalists of the StopFake project noted, this video does not concern Ukraine in any way.
The Polish Ministry of Defense reported that the video was shot on December 23, 2011. There is a military ceremony for the meeting of the bodies of Polish soldiers who died in Afghanistan after being blown up on the road between Kabul and Kandahar. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on their convoy.
Stanisław Zharyn, Commissioner of the Polish Government for the Security of the Information Space of Poland, reported on the recording, which is being distributed on the Internet. «A video is circulating on social networks, which is used to spread lies about the government’s alleged sending of troops to the war in Ukraine. The material represents the events of many years ago and has nothing to do with the current situation in the AU,» — he wrote on Twitter
The Ministry of National Defense of Poland has repeatedly stated that «no Polish soldier on active duty takes part in hostilities in Ukraine.»
Poland’s “mercenaries” will be buried in cemeteries «in the American way»
An article from a Polish publication is being circulated in the Russian Federation, which states that a cemetery will be created in the Polish city of Olsztyn to bury 1,200 «Polish mercenaries» who died in the war in Ukraine.
The information about the cemetery for Polish «mercenaries» was denied on the official website of the city of Olsztyn. It was noted there that the article of the publication Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny contains errors and Russianisms that a native speaker of the Polish language would not allow. On the official page of the city, it is noted that the information about the cemetery for «Polish mercenaries» is false. The Olsztyn website adds that the editor-in-chief of Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny used a fake photo, and the person with the initials he indicated does not exist.
In addition, in the article Niezależny Dziennik Polityczny, they state that 1,200 Polish citizens allegedly died in Ukraine. However, only three Poles are officially known to have died. In addition, Polish citizens participated in the war as part of the International Legion, and not as «mercenaries».
Zaszczyny Dziennik Polityczny is a fake news portal that invents false news and steals articles from other media for cover.
As OKO.press wrote, «The «zaszczyny dziennik polityczny» portal, which has been known for years as a disinformation distributor that matches Russian narratives, has found a way to confirm its own content. Reprints articles from the largest Polish news portals without the consent and knowledge of the authors and editors.»
«We know this because original articles from OKO.press are also published here. Besides the fake news about attacks on Polish and American troops, reliable materials are posted,» Polish journalists note.
Are there enough Ukrainian soldiers at the front?
In an interview with The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhnyi, said: «Ukraine’s defense forces have enough soldiers, but Ukraine needs to increase the supply of ammunition, equipment, and air defense equipment.»
«We are already conducting (mobilization — author). We have enough people and I can clearly see what I have. I have enough. I don’t need hundreds of thousands more (soldiers — author),» he said.
«We need tanks, we need armored personnel carriers, BMPs. And we need ammunition. Note, I’m not talking about the (fighter) F-16 now,» the commander-in-chief emphasized.
Are there really Poles at the front?
The short answer is yes! There are Polish volunteers at the front, but not as many as Russia emphasizes. It is worth noting that volunteers in the war are not soldiers on active duty. According to one of the volunteers, they are not paid for their service. After the start of the Russian invasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced the creation of the International Territorial Defense Legion of Ukraine.
In March 2022, representatives of about 52 nationalities served in the ranks of the formation. Interviews (1,2) with people who were members of the Legion are presented in the Polish mass media.