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Kaliningrad. “Wall on the border with Russia”? It’s not that wall

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Over 200,000 views on Twitter has a post whose author states that “Poland has already built 107 km of a wall on the border with Russia” – and shows a photo of the border wall. Only this one is more than one and a half thousand kilometers away.

“Poland has already built 107 km of the wall on the border with Russia. This is more than half the length of the land section of the border between Poland and the Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia, which is 198 km. The construction will be 2.5 meters high and 3 meters wide” – he wrote on Twitter on March 25, an anonymous Internet user added ironically: “However, I will urge you to add a minefield there” (original spelling of the posts). The post was accompanied by a photo that caught the attention of Twitter users: it shows a paved road running along a high wall topped with barbed wire. The wall looks like concrete, it is made of segments. There is green on the left side of the road; you can see grass, bushes, in the distance larger trees. The tweet with this photo was viewed over 220,000 times. times. It was shared by 150 users and over 1540 liked it.

A tweet with a misleading photo Twitter

“I grew up a kilometer from this border”

The author of a popular tweet in the same thread posted the same photo again, juxtaposed with a map on which a red line marked the Polish border with the Kaliningrad District. And he commented: “The ecosystem will change there.” This juxtaposition even more than the first may suggest that the photo shows a wall erected on this border.

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The next post was also misleadingTwitter

From the comments that were posted in response to this thread, it appears that many users believed that this was a photo of the wall being built on the Polish border. “You could also make a moat so wide that this district would actually become an island in the Baltic Sea”; “The wall is cool, and spies and subversives will come from Schengen”; “For me, it makes no sense. And I grew up a kilometer from this border”; “I don’t know how exactly this wall is constructed, but you can make small unmonitored passages for small animals and monitored ones for larger ones”; “Very good, to some extent it will close the possibility of illegal border crossing by newcomers from the Middle East, brought in by Putin or Lukashenka,” they wrote.

Yes, the photograph shows a border wall – but on a different border, more than 1,500 kilometers away from the Polish-Russian one in a straight line (after: Google Maps).

This is not a photo from the Polish-Russian border

As we checked thanks to reverse image search, the same photo in August 2021 was published by English-language news portals, including BBC News, Sky News, VOA News, CNN. The materials that this photo illustrated concerned the situation on the border between Greece and Turkey.

The source of the photo is the Reuters news agency. On her page on August 13, 2021 article published titled “EU border surveillance agency begins testing high-tech control systems as fighting in Afghanistan intensifies”. The text was accompanied by five photos – the last one was used in a popular Polish tweet. In the Reuters material, they were signed as follows: “View of the border fence between Greece and Turkey, in Alexandroupolis. Greece, August 10, 2021.” The author of the photo is Alexandros Avramidis, a Greek photojournalist. How gives on his website, since 2012 he has been cooperating with the Reuters agency.

The photo of the wall built between Greece and Turkey is from 2021, from Reuters. The author is Alexandros AvramidisReuters.com

In August 2021, at the Alexandroupolis airport on the Greek-Turkish border, a balloon system equipped with cameras was tested to detect migrant boats wishing to enter the European Union. In January 2023, DW.com informed“Greece will nearly double the length of a five-metre-long steel fence on its border with Turkey amid fears of an influx of migrants.” The Greek government plans to extend the 37.5km border fence by another 35km along the Evros River (called Marica in Turkey).

The Polish-Russian border: a dam, not a wall, was built

November 2, 2022 on the decision to build a dam – not a wall – on the Polish-Russian border he informed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak. Work on the construction started on the same day, more than a year after the photo of the wall was taken by a Polish Internet user.

On the Polish border with the Kaliningrad Oblast, a dam consisting of three rows of razor wire was erected, it is three meters wide and 2.5 meters high. The wire was stretched over metal poles driven into the ground. There is a protective net for animals in front of the dam.

On March 23, Polish websites – including Money.pl, olsztyn.tvp.pl and portalsamorzadowy.pl – referring to the Polish Press Agency, they reported that “the barrage wire barrier has been built so far on a section of about 107 km, i.e. over half the length of the Polish-Russian border”. The land border is about 198 km long.

Author:Gabriela Sieczkowska

Main photo source: Omar Marques / Abaca / PAP

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