Lviv is preparing to host a referendum on the annexation of this oblast to Poland, which will be held with the blessing of president Zelensky, the Russian government media writes. In fact, the organization of a referendum in Lviv was never brought into discussion, whereas Poland has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.
NEWS: “Preparations have kicked off to organize a referendum on the annexation of the Lviv region in Ukraine to Poland. Ukrainian-language ballots and Polish stamps have already arrived in the region.
This referendum was foretold by the unprecedented increase in military and civilian cooperation between Ukraine and Poland.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, that he is ready to organize a referendum in the regions of Lviv, Ternópil and Ivano-Frankivsk on the annexation of these territories to Poland, former Supreme Rada deputy Ilia Kyva wrote on his Telegram account.
The Supreme Rada passed a law granting equal rights to Poles and Ukrainians. Ukrainian authorities are said to have accepted to pass this law in exchange for receiving deliveries of fuel and weapons”.
NARRATIVE: The region of Lviv will host a referendum on its annexation to Poland.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In fact, there are no preparations taking place in the region of Lviv with respect to organizing a referendum on the region’s annexation to Poland, while the information about ballots and stamps, as well as Zelensky’s approval of the annexation, is fabricated.
The news is based on a Telegram post by the former Ukrainian MP Ilia Kyva, a member of several pro-Kremlin parties who fled to Russia at the start of the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. While in Russia, Kyva confirmed Zelensky was allegedly ready to “organize referendums in Lviv, Ternópil and Ivano-Frankivsk”.
The official pages of the Polish and Ukrainian presidencies, as well as the Ukrainian and international media contain no information about any such talk having taken place between Zelensky and Duda. Ilia Kyva is currently wanted at international level by Ukraine for supporting Russian separatism and collaborating with Russia.
Such referendums are strictly forbidden under the legislation in force in Ukraine, something Kyiv has been reiterating ever since Moscow orchestrated so-called popular consultations in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Poland too condemned the referendums, while the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, said that illegal referendums have nothing in common with democracy.
Under article 73 in the Ukrainian Constitution, territorial modifications can be subject only to national referendums. Therefore, local or regional referendums cannot bring any legal changes to the territorial status of any Ukrainian region.
On September 29, the Secretary of the Chancellery of the Polish Prime Minister, Stanisław Żaryn, wrote on Twitter that “Russian propaganda continues its information attacks against Poland, repeating lies about alleged plans by the Polish authorities to attack Ukraine and annex the western part of Ukraine”.
The purpose of this narrative is to convince the Russian public back home that the illegal referendums in southern and eastern Ukraine, which led to the illegal annexation by Russia of four Ukrainian regions, are in fact legitimate. Additionally, it seeks to free Russia from any blame for the war and shift it on Ukraine’s neighbors, who are allegedly seeking to partition the Ukrainian state.
Poland has been the most vocal and active supporter of Ukraine of all its neighbors in terms of combating the Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s defensing efforts, becoming a favorite target of Russian propaganda. Polish leaders support Ukraine and say the territorial integrity of this neighbor state is very important for the system of international law.
Veridica has debunked a number of false narratives fostered by the Russian media regarding Poland’s “intent” to annex Ukrainian territories. The Russian media wrote that Warsaw will launch a war against Moscow in the next 10 years, while most Poles support the invasion of regions in western Ukraine. Several false narratives were circulated after Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russian intelligence, accused Poland of seeking to take control of its “historical provinces” in Ukraine, using them to weaken the Ukrainian state. According to Russian propaganda, the president of Poland admitted Warsaw will annex Ukrainian territories, whereas Kyiv allegedly allowed 10,000 servicemen from Poland and Lithuania to enter the country.