According to the claim disseminated in social networks, the Polish state TV channel TVP1 showed Ukraine’s map where most of the country’s territory is divided between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania whilst only several districts of the central area remain under Ukraine’s jurisdiction, including the Kyiv oblast. The description of the abovementioned Facebook publication reads: “Ukraine is carved up on Polish TV channels…” which continues with the following text in Russian: “According to the map, the entire south-east of Ukraine will join Russia, the west of Ukraine will be ceded to Poland whilst Romania and Hungary will also receive small chunks of land.”

This type of manipulative claim went viral in Russian-speaking sources as well.

In fact, this claim is manipulative. The footage in the publication is real – the Polish state TV channel TVP1 did indeed show Ukraine’s dismembered map. However, the programme has nothing to do with the claim in social networks according to which “neighbouring countries are dividing up Ukraine.”

In particular, the aforementioned programme was broadcast in March 2014 and was devoted to the address of the then Deputy Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovskyi, to authorities in Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest. The Russian politician offered that the aforementioned countries divide up Ukraine’s territories and the Polish TV channel showed this map in order to illustrate Zhirinovskyi’s absurd proposal.

The programme in particular said: “Deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovskyi, proposed that Warsaw hold a referendum about joining the Volyn, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Rivno districts to Poland. He also made the same proposal to Hungary and Romania about the Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi districts. Only the central part of the country should remain as Ukraine. Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed this proposal as ridiculous.”

Therefore, the map on air on Polish TV channels does not reflect Poland’s plan to capture Ukraine’s territories but, rather, Vladimir Zhirinovskyi’s absurd proposal. Therefore, the claim that “Ukraine is carved up on Polish TV channels” is a manipulation.

Generally, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian media, politicians and internet users regularly circulate disinformation that Poland plans to annex part of Ukraine’s territory. However, Russian propaganda failed thus far to produce any evidence. These types of statements are often made at a rather high-level – for instance, the Head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Narishkyn, stated that Poland is getting ready to occupy western Ukraine.

Spokesperson of Poland’s Minister-Special Service Coordinator, Stanisław Żaryn, responded to these types of statements many times. According to Mr Żaryn, Russia continues info-ops against Poland and spreads false information that Polish authorities are planning to annex western Ukraine.

Currently, Poland is one of Ukraine’s most staunching and unflinching allies. Since the beginning of war, Warsaw has provided Kyiv with aid worth USD 9 billion whilst 1.3-1.4 million Ukrainian refugees currently live in Poland.


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