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May 19, 2024

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Statement On Russia’s Misinformation
And Revision of History

Washington D.C., October 1, 2015 – The Polish American Congress is deeply concerned that the international community’s dilemma over the mass migration of Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan refugees on one hand and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin’s offer, on the other, to collaborate with the West in addressing the turmoil in Syria and Iraq will mask the long history of lies and deception that characterize post-communist Russia’s stance vis-à-vis the United States and other countries. We hope that the prospect of Russia’s cooperation will not blindside the Western nations as to Russia’s true interests and agenda in Europe, the Middle East, and worldwide.

Whenever it comes to Russia’s relations with the West, no better example substantiates Russia’s proclivity to misinform both its domestic audience as well as the international community than the recent September 25th assertion of Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, blaming Poland for the start of World War II. Rather than being accidental, the absurdity of Andreev’s remarks were deliberately designed to provoke discord among perceived adversaries, i.e., NATO member nations.

Even though the Ambassador, albeit reluctantly, rescinded his comments in the following days, his words exemplify a larger problem of ongoing, systematic, and increasing misinformation and twisting the facts of history and placing blame for Russia-perpetrated crimes onto others.

Andreev’s assertion about Poland is no different than Russia’s earlier assertions that the 2014 Maidan Square mass demonstrations and sit-ins that led to the ousting of Moscow-backed President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, had been the work of “fascists and Nazis” in Ukraine and in the West.

Another example is the continuing denial of responsibility for massive murders in 1940 of Polish officers and intelligentsia that took place in Russian camps of Katyn, Kozielsk, Ostaszkow and many others, where more 22,000 were killed by Russia’s NKVD officers with a single shot to the back of their heads.

Moreover, no resolution of the barbaric shooting down on July 17, 2014 of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, with 298 souls aboard over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, was allowed in the United Nations Security Council in 2015 because Russia invoked its veto power.

Many believe that a similar story occurred following the crash on April 10, 2010 of Polish Air Force Flight 101 over Smolensk, Russia with President Lech Kaczynski and 95 high-ranking government officials and NGO leaders aboard who had been traveling to Smolensk to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the “Katyn Forest Massacre” perpetrated by the Soviet Union on direct orders of Josif Stalin and for which Russia steadfastly denied, and has been denying, its responsibility.

Therefore, on behalf of the Polish American community of the United States, the Polish American Congress strongly urges the U.S. Administration to keep the aforementioned examples in mind when it engages with Russia in attempts to solve problems in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere.

Even though the Polish American Congress is deeply concerned about Russia’s true intentions as well as open and covert attempts to restore its spheres of influence over the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, the organization also feels that it is of the key interest of the United States and CEE that Russia is democratic and governed by the principles of the rule of law. Until that happens, however, a strong adherence to western values and awareness of Russia’s history of manipulation and causing discord should be the guiding principle in the process of reaching any agreements.

– Mark Pienkos, PAC Vice President for Public Relations