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Russia spreading disinformation to divide Polish society: security official

16.05.2023 15:30
A Polish security official has warned that Russia is seeking to divide Polish society through propaganda and disinformation spread by officials including foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Stanisław Żaryn
Stanisław ŻarynPAP/Mateusz Marek

"Russian propaganda functionary Maria Zakharova is once again attacking Poles and Polish authorities, thus carrying out disinformation activities in favor of the Kremlin's strategic interests," Stanisław Żaryn, a senior official at the Polish Prime Minister's Office, said in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

He added that Zakharova, in a recent comment on the state of Polish-Russian relations, tried to "explain the anti-Russian attitude" of "some" Poles and pointed to "alleged divisions in society on the subject."

Żaryn, who is the Polish government's pointman for cyberspace security, said that Zakharova recently gave an interview to the Kremlin's propaganda mouthpiece, Radio Sputnik, in which she argued that "not all of Polish society is Russophobic" and that "those who display an aversion" to Russia "fall into three categories."

"Among them, the propagandist lists politicians performing anti-Russian activities allegedly 'on behalf of NATO and the US,' journalists conducting 'propagandistic, dehumanizing coaching,' and those seeking revenge against the 'descendants of Nazis' defeated by Russia in WWII," Żaryn tweeted. 

He added: "Despite the Russophobic sentiment promoted by the 'liberal dictatorship,' according to Zakharova, there are 'a large number of citizens in Poland who have a heart for the common-with-Russia memory' and, among other things, are involved in protecting monuments to Soviet soldiers."

Żaryn also said that, according to Zakharova, pro-Russian Poles are allegedly "discriminated against and persecuted by the authorities" in Poland for their views.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/ABACAPRESS.COM via PAP

'One of the key roles in Russia's system of lies'

Żaryn cautioned that Zakharova "plays one of the key roles in Russia's system of lies" and that she "uses every unfavorable situation in Russia's relations with Poland to attack our country, denigrate and accuse it of Russophobia."

"In doing so," Zakharova "tries to divide Polish society into Russophobes and Russophiles, who support good relations with Moscow and allegedly oppose the 'anti-Russian madness' of the authorities," according to Żaryn.

"Zakharova is thus reminiscent of the previously exposed - and muted in recent months - tactic of dividing Poles into good and bad that is part of the Kremlin's anti-Polish propaganda," Żaryn said.

He argued that "Zakharova's words about 'good, pro-Russian' groups present in Polish society are an attempt to stimulate them to activity, especially in the context of the upcoming elections in Poland."

Tuesday is day 447 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, tvp.info, Twitter