Poland in the eyes of Russian propaganda: "Hyena of Europe" and "Nazi hegemon of Central and Eastern Europe"
by Artur Żak, translated using Yandex
For many decades Poland has been presented in Russian propaganda as a country that is not a fully fulfilled country. A country that always acts by someone's side and carries out foreign orders, often unfavorable to the Polish raison d'état. A country that will always take advantage of the difficult situation of its neighbor to achieve its particular interests. A country inhabited by people with an overly exaggerated sense of self-importance, with "Russophobia" encoded at the genetic level.
With a short break for the period of the so-called "first Yeltsin", the roll of propaganda started again in the 1990s. It was then that a narrative was developed in which Poland and Poles were accused of betraying Russia and the Russian nation, which, according to the authors of this message, bravely and with a huge sacrifice of blood, liberated Poland from under the foot of the Third Reich, and they ungrateful not only left the Eastern systemic changes and faster and faster towards NATO and the European Union. Despite the noticeable hint of bitterness, the rather mocking nature of the message dominates the Russian propaganda of the late 1990s. Poland is only an object in the politics of great players - a servile henchman of the USA and the European Union. In the descriptions of that time, it would be difficult to find openly expressed aggression, but the contempt was evident. There were minor hoots against Poland that it sheltered "Chechen terrorists", but it did not take up too much of the information space. Even Poland's accession to NATO in 1999, in the official narrative of the Russian Federation, passed extremely calmly. Of course, if we do not consider the statements of the leader of the "non-systemic opposition", Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who for decades was the tester through which the Kremlin tested the public's reaction to these or other theses.
The situation started to change in 2004 and 2005 when Poland and Polish society supported the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Then, information about the annexation of the western parts of Ukraine planned by the Republic of Poland began to be disseminated more actively. This is how Poland began to evolve in the mouths of Russian propaganda from objectivity to subjectivity in the geopolitics of Central and Eastern Europe. Of course, incomplete subjectivity, and such a hybrid one, under the full control of the USA. Nevertheless subjectivity. It was then that rhetorical devices began to be used, describing Poland in a similar way in which Russia has presented Ukraine for several years, namely as a country that is used by the United States in a conflict with Russia and will be lost in the heat of war in the name of undeserved ambitions. The temperature reached its zenith during the war in Georgia in 2008, but here the entire impetus of the Russian propaganda bulldozer was aimed at the figure of the late Lech Kaczyński. Here the division between the "Russophobic authority" and the "fraternal Polish nation", which the unholy President of the Republic of Poland wants to lead astray and drown in his brotherly blood, was clearly visible.
The bloodthirsty nature of the Russian information machine cooled down a bit after the Smolensk catastrophe, and then it was launched again with full force during the Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea and the aggression in eastern Ukraine. The information on Poland's territorial claims against Ukraine, which was broadcast both by Russian sources and some entities located in Ukraine and Poland, was revived. Maps of Ukraine's division began to shine on television, a large part of which was allocated to Poland. The map came from a letter issued by the deputy chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament and the leader of the LDPR faction, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. This famous document was to call for Poland to strive to organize a referendum on the accession of five western oblasts of Ukraine: Volyn, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Tarnopolski and Rówieński. Similar documents were also received by Hungary and Romania. Russian propaganda once again used its governing bodies, used before World War II, a theme in which Poland is presented as a country that often benefits from the miseries of its neighbors.
Since 2014, Poland's presence in Russian propaganda has only grown. Of course, there were higher and lower levels, but the Republic of Poland was still present in it. Obviously, Ukraine came first, the USA was second, and Poland often played the role of a kind of conjunction. It was portrayed as a country that was blindly playing the roles imposed on it by the United States. In February 2014, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said: “No matter what plans are written in NATO, in Brussels, no matter what directives Barack Obama signs, all of them will not work. All issues of war and peace in general, and today related to Ukraine, will be settled by one person - the head of the Russian state. The Baltic States and Poland are doomed to perdition. Let's sweep them up. There will be nothing there. Let them come to their senses, these leaders of these small dwarven countries and see how they substitute themselves! America is in no danger, it is far away, but here the countries of Eastern Europe run the risk of, so to speak, annihilation. Only they are to blame. We cannot allow rockets, planes directed towards Russia, to launch from their territories. We will have to destroy them half an hour before the start. ”. It is this rhetoric more and more often from Żyrinowski's lips that began to wander the tubes of Russian propaganda.
With regard to Ukraine, the archetypal stereotype, created during the tsarist Russia, was additionally fueled, in which every Pole is a "lord" and each Ukrainian is a "boor". The thesis has been broadcast many times that, under the guise of European values, Poland is draining Ukrainian human resources. That Poland likes not only territories, but also cheap labor. Polish instructors, who started training Ukrainian soldiers in 2016, also added a lot of fuel to the fire. Here, heavy guns were launched and the Republic of Poland was directly accused of training the Nazis. Thus, we can distinguish three fronts of propaganda: 1. Return of the lost lands; 2. Cheap labor; 3. Fighting Russia with the hands of Ukrainians, until the last Ukrainian.
The narrative has definitely become inflamed after the elections in Belarus in 2020. After Poland supported the democratic demonstrations and Lukashenka was not recognized, Belarusian propaganda started, much more crude than Russian, but everyone knows that they form a kind of tandem. It is also no secret to anyone that after the mass quitting of work by Belarusian journalists, Russia quickly supported the Belarusian propaganda media with the necessary human resources. Here, Poland was also presented as a longtime player who is only waiting for the western territories of Belarus. Over the years, it has been creating an agency both in Belarus and among the Belarusian diaspora. But more importantly, information began to be smuggled in that Poland was arming itself, and during the exercises the Polish army was working out patterns of attacking the sovereign Belarusian state in order to regain its western territories. Considering that Belarus and Russia have long been creating a structure that they themselves call "an allied state", Poland's potential plans would also concern the fate of Russia. Poland has become not only a submissive NATO bridgehead, but a full-blown aggressor lurking in other people's territories. This was often emphasized during the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
Poland - a country for denazification
Nevertheless, the temperature has been reaching its zenith since February 24, 2022, the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Whenever it seems that it is already the maximum, someone from the Russian side will add a little more gas to this infernal hearth. The war in Ukraine lasts over 3,000 days, and the full-scale invasion has lasted for almost three months. We know what strategy Poland has chosen and how much it supports Ukraine. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it is present in almost every propagandist bullet in the Russian narrative. I am going to mention just a few of the last weeks that stuck the most painfully in my head. At the speech of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, in which the Prime Minister compared "ruskij mir" to a cancer, the chairman of the State Duma Control Committee of the Russian Federation reacted, Viktor Morozow with these words: "With its statements about Russia as a" cancer "and about the" contribution "we have to pay to Ukraine, Poland forces us to put it first in the queue for denazification, just after Ukraine." On the other hand, in the evening hours of hatred, that is the television program "60 minutes", the diva of Russian propaganda Olga Skabiejewa said: "Fascist terror is spreading not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “Fascist terror is raging not only in Ukraine but also in Europe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “Fascist terror is raging not only in Ukraine but also in Europe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said thatruskij mir poses a threat to Europe. Morawiecki called for the complete elimination of this ideology, which he compared to cancer. So the history of people has taught you nothing. After all, thanks to such audacious idiots, Poland ceased to exist as an independent state several times. "
Finally, I would like to quote the statement by the former president and prime minister of the Russian Federation, vice-chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, who from a man who at first glance was completely devoid of ambition, a comfy fan of gadgets and social networks, turned into an ultra-active commentator who threw against the threat of a nuclear annihilation. There is a lot of it, but I will quote his statement about the worn plate, that is Poland's territorial claims to Ukraine: "Under the pretext of" eternal brotherhood ", the Polish authorities intend to take the territory of Western Ukraine. The masks were dropped. Andrzej Duda stated that the border between Poland and Ukraine will not exist for decades or even centuries. We are talking about the actual annexation by Poland of the territories of Western Ukraine. The Polish authorities set themselves the task of returning the historical lands of the Republic of Poland. They hide behind aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric and promise Ukraine eternal brotherhood just to avenge the numerous partitions of Poland. "
It would seem that the goal of Russian propaganda is to promote the idea of an enigmatic Ruthenian mir . The range of recipients of this idea is limited. By definition, the scope of the Ruthenian mir does not extend beyond the world of the Russian language, and not all Russian-speakers are susceptible to this propaganda. In fact, the purpose of the media coverage of the Russian media is to wreak havoc and fuel animosity, both between nations and within societies.
Polska w oczach rosyjskiej propagandy - od „hieny Europy", do „nazistowskiego hegemona Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej"
Przez wiele dziesięcioleci Polska w rosyjskiej propagandzie była przedstawiana jako kraj, który nie jest krajem w pełni spełnionym. Kraj, który zawsze działa u czyjegoś boku i wykonuje obce rozkazy, często niekorzystne dla polskiej racji stanu. Kraj, który zawsze wykorzysta trudną sytuację sąsiada,