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Funeral of Polish soldiers fighting in Ukraine. “I wonder why no media shows this?”

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The Russian disinformation machine is once again using old materials to prove that Polish soldiers are now dying in Ukraine. And again, these images are distributed on the Polish network.

Another version of the false pro-Kremlin disinformation about Polish mercenary soldiers dying in Ukraine has appeared on the Internet. Russian social media published a photo of a dozen Polish soldiers who assist with five coffins covered with Polish flags. The photo was taken on the tarmac – in the distance you can see the plane and hangars.

The photo was published, among other things, by a telegram account that regularly posts footage of dead Ukrainian soldiers. Now, the account user added a comment to the published frame, indicating that the photo shows dead mercenaries from Poland who have just died in Ukraine.

The photo from Telegram quickly found its way to various Russian sites, e.g. Anna-news.info, where it was used to illustrate the article “Poles want to destroy Russia”. Its reprint went to the Polish network – it was translated and published on the website Gloria.tv.

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The photo also appeared on Polish Twitter, where on one of the accounts published them on February 12, 2023. “The ceremonial return of Polish cannon fodder from [tu wstawiono flagę Ukrainy]. I wonder why no media show it?” – the user wrote in the comment. Some Internet users believed that the photo shows the return of the bodies of Poles who died in Ukraine. Other Polish-language comments can be seen under the photo: “Why honorary assistance if these people were mercenaries?”; “Boys’ wives and mothers will now be proud”; “corporate hired meat without awareness”; “Did anyone order them? They wanted it, they got it”; “I wonder why they bury them with honors? After all, he is a mercenary of his own choice” (original spelling of all entries).

As we checked, the photo is old and has nothing to do with the ongoing war.

The soldiers died in Afghanistan, not in Ukraine

In fact, the photo shows the return of the bodies of Polish soldiers killed in Afghanistan in 2011. Illustrated, among others, article published on the website Tvn24.pl. It was taken on December 23, 2011 by the photographer of the Polish Press Agency, Grzegorz Jakubowski. It is still available in the PAP database.

In fact, the photo was taken more than eleven years agoPAP

Let us recall: on December 21, 2011, five soldiers from the 20th Bartoszyce Mechanized Brigade were killed near the main road connecting Kabul with Kandahar. A powerful explosive exploded under their transporter. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on their convoy. On December 23, the coffins with the soldiers’ bodies were brought to Poland. At Warsaw’s Okęcie, the fallen were greeted with a military ceremony (after: President.pl). It was then that the photo was taken, which has now been used to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The Polish media reported on the death of five Polish soldiers and their bodies being brought back to Poland in December 2011.

“The photo circulating in social media showing the alleged funeral of Polish soldiers who fought in Ukraine is untrue. This is another example of fake news that is part of the disinformation activities that are spreading especially in social media” – the Press Department of the Operations Center of the Minister of National Defense replied to us and once again another appealed to media representatives and social media users to be especially careful when disseminating information, publishing videos and photos of military equipment. “Special care should be taken with regard to the credibility of information appearing in the information space and the use of reliable sources” – stated in the e-mail sent to us.

Once again, pro-Kremlin propaganda uses the same event

This is not the first time that Russian propaganda has used the tragic event of 2011 to introduce false information online during the ongoing Ukraine crisis. A few months ago, which we wrote about in Konkret24Russian sources followed by others distributed a ten-second video from more than eleven years ago, showing several shots of Polish soldiers assisting at coffins covered with Polish flags, with the message that it was a current video and that Poles died in Ukraine.

Misleading tweet from November 18, 2022Twitter

Let us remind you that the Polish Ministry of National Defense has repeatedly emphasized that no Polish soldier in active service takes part in the fighting in Ukraine

Main photo source: Twitter

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