We often encounter clickbait in social media and chats: it’s the main method to attract more users to one’s account, increase the number of likes, or website traffic. Our fact-checking department debunked a fake about the deportation of Ukrainians from Europe recently, and here we face another similar case but focused on a single country. 

A lot of Telegram channels spread the post that the President of Poland ordered to prepare the lists of Ukrainians in the country and start to deport them. Well… Let’s get into debunking that.

What happened? 

On February 21, we received a lot of requests to fact-check news from multiple Telegram channels in our fact-checking bot Perevirka. The post said that the President of Poland supposedly signed the decree to “Prepare the lists of Ukrainians who are officially registered on Poland’s territory and begin the deportation”. Telegram channels like єРадар | Повітряна тривога | Ракетна небезпека (archive), Радар⚡️Україна (archive), 🚀 РАКЕТА UA | Тривога України (archive) shared it. 

The news said that such a decision was made because Polish farmers threatened to “throw off the government if every Ukrainian in Poland aren’t deported.”  


Ukrainians refugees in Poland 

Because of the Russian full-scale invasion, in March 2022, the Polish government signed a law that aimed to help Ukrainian citizens in 2022. According to the law, Ukrainian citizens in Poland have the right to work, housing, medical help, and basic social protection. 

On February 20, 2024, Poland President’s Chancellery reported on signing in another degree that, among other things, extends the period within which Ukrainian refugees can live in Poland until June 30, 2024. 

So, at the legislative level, there is no information about deportation. On the opposite, the Polish government approved the extension of the period in which Ukrainian refugees can be in Poland.

Protests of Polish farmers and the President of Poland’s reaction

At the beginning of February 2024, the Polish Farmers’ Solidarity trade union announced a nationwide strike and traffic blockades around the country from February 9 to March 10, 2024. 

During a negotiation on February 7 in the Ministry of Agriculture, the President of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers, Victor Shmulevich, noted that all [protesting] farmers agreed on three main demands. Mainly, they don’t want the Green Deal to be implemented, they don’t want the import of agricultural products from Ukraine, and they demand support for livestock farming. 

So, farmers’ demands concern the agriculture of Poland, not the deportation of Ukrainian refugees, as the news spread via Telegram channels said. Andrzej Duda noted in the interview with Ukrainian radio that the blockade on the Polish-Ukrainian border is caused, first of all, by Russian aggression. He also said he hopes the conflict will be solved through three-way negotiation between Polish authorities, Ukraine, and protestors.

“It’s a really complex problem because the issue with Ukrainian products has existed since the beginning. It started due to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Because, let’s remember: Russian aggression against Ukraine is at fault in everything here, not somebody else. If there wasn’t Russian aggression against Ukraine, this problem wouldn’t have appeared. The issue is that Russia attacked Ukraine.” 

On February 21, Andrzej Mikołaj Dera, Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the President, reported on the Polish TVN24 channel that the President of Poland supported the offer of organizing a meeting on the [Polish-Ukrainian] border between Ukrainian and Poland authorities and representatives of European Comission to resolve the situation with border blockade and farmer protests. 

The President of Poland made no mention of the deportation of Ukrainian refugees in the country in his statements concerning farmer protests and blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border.

“Deportation lists” mentioned in Telegram channels 

We clicked on links in messages shared by Telegram channels. All of them were identical, and all contained the same link to a Telegram channel Наші в Польщі. [“Ours in Poland” — ed.] 

After clicking the link, users don’t see the list of people to be deported. However, they are automatically connected to the Telegram bot, which, by offering to confirm a user’s citizenship and other clickbait messages, connects the user to other anonymous Telegram channels and bots. 

Conclusion: Fake, clickbait 

Author: Anna Ormanzhy

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