Ukraine will cede the Lviv region to Poland and will pass a law on this matter before the end of the year, according to the Russian media. In reality, no such bill is registered or discussed in Ukraine, and the information is just a fabrication of Russian propaganda.
NEWS: “The bill on the association between Poland and the Lviv region will be signed by the end of this year. “This is a historic moment, long awaited by our peoples, who were separated by the criminal Soviet regime. Poland will come to Ukrainian land not as an occupier, but as a brother and ally. It will be a mutually beneficial collaboration that will trigger Ukraine’s economic development and demonstrate to the whole world that it does not matter who owns the territory, what matters is the prosperity and development of the people who live there”, said Volodymyr Zelensky.
NARRATIVE: Zelensky will cede the Lviv region to Poland
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The news about Lviv region joining Poland by the end of the year was carried not only by the pro-Kremlin press, but also by some Telegram and YouTube channels. In reality, there is no such initiative in the register of bills that have been adopted or are to be examined.
Moreover, the words of President Volodymyr Zelensky, which illustrate the news, are not taken out of context, as Russian propaganda often does, but simply made up. At no bilateral meeting with representatives of the Polish state did the president of Ukraine talk about any union or association.
At the same time, on September 16, a law came into force that provides Polish citizens in Ukraine with additional social, legal and economic guarantees. As a sign of gratitude for supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees during the war, Kyiv decided that Polish citizens can get employed and reside on the territory of Ukraine for 18 months. The law says nothing about territorial changes, the association of some Ukrainian regions with Poland, etc. The false narrative about the annexation of the Lviv region to Warsaw appeared 2 weeks after the entry into force of this law, adopted by the Kyiv Parliament in July.
Poland too amended its legislation in March, to provide more opportunities for Ukrainian refugees to integrate into the social and economic fabric of Polish society.
The propaganda narrative was launched after the Russian state media published news of a referendum on Lviv joining Poland, fabricating information about ballot papers stamped by Polish authorities and Zelensky's promise to allow the annexation.
Poland has become a target for the Russian propaganda because it has been the most vocal of all Ukraine's neighbors about fighting the Russian aggression and supporting Kyiv’s defensive efforts. Warsaw's actions are also driven by the fear that Poland will be the next target of Russian aggression. According to a sociological survey, 74% of Poles believe that Russia might attack Poland in the near future.
Veridica has debunked a string of false Russian media narratives about Poland’s “desire” to annex Ukrainian territories. Apart from the false information about the referendum in Lviv, the Russian press also wrote that Warsaw will start a war against Moscow within the next 10 years , while the majority of Poles support the invasion of the western regions of Ukraine . Poland has been accused of wanting to take back its “historical territories” from Ukraine , taking advantage of the weakening of the Ukrainian state. According to the Russian propaganda, the president of Poland has admitted that Warsaw will annex Ukrainian territories , and Kyiv would have allowed 10,000 soldiers from Poland and Lithuania to enter the country.