Poland in the communication of the Russian disinformation apparatus – “a country of saboteurs and provocateurs”

In connection with the ongoing Ukrainian offensive, the Russian disinformation apparatus has temporarily limited activities in the field of depreciating the image of Poland to a certain extent. Disinformation centres are currently focusing on covering up developments on the front that are unfavourable to Moscow (creating the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as a force able to cope with the impact of the Ukrainian Armed Forces – even succeeding on the battlefront). Despite the limited amount of material published, the Russian side continues to act on the following threads:


1) creating Poland as the country “responsible” for the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines (an alleged Polish-Ukrainian diversion);


2) creating Poland as a state whose citizens oppose supporting Ukraine (the Polish government as a puppet of the US and a regime that supports Ukraine “against the Poles”);


3) creating Poland as a state “preparing” to provoke a war with Russia.




The first of the above threads relates to the creation of the West and Ukraine as the party responsible for destabilising the balance of power in Europe. In the Kremlin’s narrative, it was the Polish state that, by “blowing up Nord Stream”, brought about the “culmination” of Warsaw’s long-standing efforts to destroy German-Russian relations. From this perspective, Russia is once again the “victim” of the despicable intrigues of one of the NATO countries.



The second storyline relates to efforts to reinforce the narrative about a “serious discrepancy” between the views of Poles and the Polish government on Russia and Ukraine. From this perspective, the US is to blame for the crisis in Polish-Russian relations because without “Washington’s scheming”, Poland would not be willing to pursue such a “Russophobic policy” (concerns support for Ukraine). To lend credence to the given narrative, the Russian side reached out to Leszek Sykulski, PhD, who confirmed the indicated thesis in an interview with RIA Novosti.



The third thread refers directly to the creation of Poland and NATO as a side that “provokes Russia” and “forces” Moscow to attack Ukraine for another potential war. The argument that Russia is a “victim” of the ongoing war and must “defend itself” against ongoing “aggressive acts of NATO” is the most overt instance of the Kremlin trying to minimise the impact of its policy.



All of the above threads relate to persuading Russians that the Russian Federation is notoriously struggling with the “aggressive actions” of the West. The identified narratives are, furthermore, “exported” to other countries through the activities of pro-Russian (or those cooperating with Russian services) “experts” and influencers. Statements by Western “media authorities” supporting Russia’s objectives (whether consciously or not) not only infect the infosphere of their countries of origin, but provide Russians (and pro-Russian forces from other countries) with a factor that lends credibility/reinforces the disinformation and propaganda narratives popularised by media centres associated with the Russian state.




Author: dr Michał Marek



Public task financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland within thegrant comp etition “Public Diplomacy 2023”