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Ukrainian consulate, underground printing house, fake passports. Nothing is right

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Employees of the Ukrainian consulate were supposed to run an underground printing house and legalize false Ukrainian passports – we learn from a video distributed on social media. It has the logo of a Ukrainian government organization and looks like official material. But it's a fake: both in terms of information and editing.

We show what is true and what is false

We verify fake news, check data, and analyze information from the Internet

In recent days, there has been a lot of information on the Internet and social media about the problems that Ukrainian citizens staying in Poland have in obtaining services at consulates. It has to do with new mobilization act, which will enter into force in Ukraine on May 18. According to it, men aged 18-60 who want to leave the country or are staying outside it will be able to obtain a passport of a Ukrainian citizen only within their country. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba informed that after this date “the process of accepting and examining applications for consular activities will continue taking into account new requirements resulting from the provisions of the Act.” These announcements caused queues to form in front of Ukrainian consulates in Poland; On April 23, consulates even stopped providing services to men of mobilization age.

These events, in addition to comments, led to the creation of false messages, most often of an anti-Ukrainian nature. One of them was the one about the alleged protest of Ukrainians in Katowice against the conscription of men staying in Poland – we verified it in Konkret24. There were too other.

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READ MORE IN KONKRET24: Will the police “start mass inspections” of Ukrainians of military age? The Ministry of Interior and Administration denies this

However, one of the users of website thousand euros” (original spelling of all posts). He added a recording lasting over a minute to the post, which was supposed to confirm this information.

Misleading post published on April 25, 2024x.com

The film is a composite of over 20 shots. The first ones are presented by, among others: the building of the Ukrainian Consulate in Wrocław and the queue in front of it – which suggests that this is where the illegal activity took place. Then we see shots from inside an office, e.g. handing over a passport at the window, a man with a laptop, close-ups of bundles of 50 euro banknotes, a computer screen with personal data. We then watch a man being led to a courtroom by two policemen; shot of the judge – which suggests that the alleged forgery case has already been brought before a Polish court. There is also a short shot of Col. Adam Ciszewski, deputy head of the Internal Security Agency (ABW), and two with Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

The film is accompanied by music and subtitles in English are placed on the frames. The text reads: “Two employees of the Ukrainian consulate in Poland helped refugees legalize false passports. The Internal Security Agency revealed the activities of an underground printing house. The printing house specialized in counterfeiting passports and ID cards. Law enforcement authorities identified two employees of the Ukrainian consulate, whose names were withheld for the sake of the investigation. Employees of the diplomatic mission changed data in the database and thus legalized false ID cards. Adam Ciszewski, deputy head of the Internal Security Agency, claims that the price of each document was approximately EUR 5,000. “Several hundred ID cards were found in the printing house.”

Subsequent captions show that Dmytro Kuleba commented on the case: “We deeply regret this incident, it is a gross and shameful violation of the law. Both employees have already been dismissed and will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.” Finally, we read that “Kuleba warned other consulate employees against similar actions.” It was recalled that “earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine suspended consular services for men of military age.”

We do not know in which of the Ukrainian consulates in Poland the described situation occurred. The United24 logo is visible in the upper right corner of the video frame from start to finish. This official a platform of the Ukrainian authorities that allows you to donate to this country. On social media, United24 publishes recordings prepared in a similar style to the one shown in the post: with inscriptions on a black background in the lower left corner and a logo in the upper right corner. The post with the described film has been viewed over 116,000 times. times.

Consulate: “the information is fake.” United24: “the video is fake”

On April 27, the United24 press department, responding to Konkret24's questions, reported: “The video is fake, not produced by United24.” A day earlier, the official United24 profile on X was published warning before the fake video, attaching a screenshot of the Polish post we described above. “The video is fabricated and the story is completely false. There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the video,” United24 reported.

We also asked the Ukrainian Consulate in Wrocław to comment on the alleged history. “The information mentioned is fake” – we were told in response on April 29. The response includes a link to United24's position from April 26.

We have not found reliable information that would confirm the discovery of passport forgery by employees of any of the Ukrainian consulates in Poland.

A collection of old and new recordings

We analyzed the shots used in the recording branded with the United24 logo. Many of them were already available on the Internet, many on YouTube. We have identified the sources of 14 shots used in the fake.

For example, the source of four shots is the material published June 30, 2022 on the YouTube channel “inPoland – Ukrainian news channel in Poland”. Its title in Ukrainian is: “How to make an appointment at the consulate?”. It contains frames showing a queue of people in front of the Ukrainian consulate in Wrocław (0:12), an official giving a passport to the applicant through the recess under the window (1:20), a close-up of the cover of a Ukrainian passport (1:13), a close-up of a man with a laptop, who is browsing a page with a Ukrainian flag on it (0:41).

Example 1: the frame with the queue was taken from a video on the YouTube channel “inPoland – Ukrainian news channel in Poland”Konkret 24, YouTube

However, a frame showing a computer screen with a photo of a woman with blonde hair, where you can see some of her personal data and an open system window, comes from the material of the English-language station UATV English from Ukraine. It was published on October 24, 2017 on the station's official YouTube channel. Title: “How are Ukrainian electronic ID cards slowly changing the Soviet-era bureaucracy?” The first part of the journalistic material presents the story of a woman who registered a newborn child at the office in Kiev, using an electronic ID card.

Example 2: the frame with the computer screen was taken from the material of the UATV English stationKonkret 24, YouTube

Close-up of packs of 50 euro banknotes appeared in a video on the YouTube channel of the Polish Police. The material “Polish Police – Central Bureau of Investigation liquidated the largest euro counterfeiting center” was published in October 2011.

Example 3: shots with euro files come from a video on the YouTube channel of the Polish PoliceKonkret 24, YouTube

The moment of the film showing the man being brought to the courtroom actually shows one of the two accused of the murder of 27-year-old Remigiusz L. The incident took place in 2020 in Krosno. In November 2022, the District Court in Krosno passed a judgment in this case. Shot appeared in material published on the YouTube channel of the local portal TerazKrosno.pl. The material was titled “Announcement of the judgment (November 21, 2022)”.

Example 4: Shots of the accused being brought in were taken from a YouTube video of the local portal TerazKrosno.plKonkret 24, YouTube

The shot of the judge that can be seen in the doctored video comes from the same recording from before. This is Judge Artur Lipiński, known from the series “Family Court”. Currently, Lipiński is a District Court Judge in Krosno and his press spokesman. In November 2022, he announced the verdict in the murder case of Remigiusz L.

Example 5: The frame with the judge was also taken from a video on the YouTube channel of TerazKrosno.plKonkret 24, YouTube

In turn, the fragment showing the deputy head of the Polish Internal Security Agency comes from the SECURE 2024 Conference. According to the event agenda, on April 16, 2024, Orku Cieszyński took part in debate Fri “Global cybersecurity in the face of the new Cold War”. In the recording of the debate, he sits in the same chair, in the same clothes, and behind him you can see the same background as in the fragment used in the fabricated film.

Example 6: the frame with the deputy head of the Polish Internal Security Agency comes from the SECURE 2024 ConferenceConcrete 24

Let us recall that similar fabricated recordings have already been sent on Polish social media more than once – to authenticate false stories presenting Ukraine and Ukrainians in a negative light, the branding of reliable stations or news agencies was used, e.g. BBC News Whether Reuters.

READ MORE IN KONKRET24: According to the BBC, “Poland is preparing its army to invade Ukraine”? It's a fake video

Main photo source: Concrete 24

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