We present to you our report on the reaction of the Russian media to the recent remarks of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the 19th of December 2019, he accused Poland of having been vicious anti-Semites who collaborated with the Nazi Germany. Today’s Poland – so claims Putin – is falsifying history. Unsurprisingly, Putin’s words were spread wide and far in Russian state-controlled media. While attacks of this kind are always disappointing, it is particularly concerning that this attack came roughly a month before the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
This report focuses on the coverage by leading Russian media organizations such as TASS, Izvestia and Sputnik. Our analysis confirms that the Kremlin’s new anti-Polish stance is in fact not new at all. Indeed, the main talking points such as the allegedly particularly vicious Polish anti-Semitism or Poland’s supposed collaboration with “the fascists” have been in use since even before the Second World War.
Not only are the talking points old – so are the methods used to back up these claims. By citing rather obscure figures such as the then-ambassador Lipski and completely ignoring the historical context, it is implied that Poland was willing to help Hitler in ethnically cleansing Europe of Jews and was even willing to build a monument for Hitler. This is – of course – nonsense. Unfortunately, there is no counterweight to this narrative in Russia as the opposition media and also historians who do not toe the Kremlin line have been systematically marginalized.
As a result, we have to expect further attacks of this kind, especially as Poland continues to invest in national defense, shifts its energy consumption away from Russian gas, and deepens its alliance with the USA and NATO.
The full report can be found here:
Atak propagandowy Putina na Polskę. Przegląd rosyjskich mediów (19 grudnia 2019 – 8 stycznia 2020)