Fact Check: No Evidence Polish Security Forces Are Killing People At The Border with Belarus


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: No Evidence Polish Security Forces Are Killing People At The Border with Belarus No Reports

Are Polish security forces killing people at the border with Belarus, and is Poland under the yoke of the USA? No, that's not true: Lead Stories found reports of deaths at the border, but no evidence security forces killed migrants at the border. The video making the claims about killings also asserts that Poland is under the yoke of the USA, which is a pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative.

The claim appeared in a video on the TikTok account @planet.404 (archived here) on October 27, 2023, and was also shared by the account @antonsergei7 (archived here).

The Russian text shown in the video states:

Belarusian political and public figure Oleg Gaidukevich on the atrocities committed by Polish security forces.

(The text and the audio have been translated into English from Russian by Lead Stories staff).

Oleg Gaidukevich is the head of the pro-regime Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus.

Below is how the post appeared on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 19.03.13.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Oct 31 19:13:11 2023 UTC)

The two main assertions in this video are as follows:

  1. Polish security forces are killing people at the border with Belarus and, for money, allowing illegal migrants into Europe by selling visas and documents.
  2. Poland is under the yoke of the USA.

A search for the phrase "Polish security forces are killing people at the border with Belarus," (archived here) conducted on October 31, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not reveal any credible evidence-based reports of such killings.

Polish border security was being closely scrutinized in 2023.

In July 2023, reputable media reported, citing the Polish NGO Grupa Granica, that in the oldest and densest natural forest in Europe, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the border between Poland and Belarus, the bodies of 48 migrants have been found in the last two years. NGO Grupa Granica activist Anna Alboth said refugees were beaten by Polish border guards, bitten by dogs, their money taken away, and their phones destroyed so they could no longer communicate. In a February, 2023 report, Grupa Granica stopped short of saying border guards had killed migrants, instead saying they failed to render needed aid.

In September 2023, Poland was shaken by reports that Polish consulates were issuing visas in Africa and Asia in exchange for bribes, opening the door for migrants to enter the European Union. Government officials acknowledged that some wrongdoing occurred. The Foreign Ministry said it had dismissed the director of the ministry's office of legal and compliance management, Jakub Osajda, "in connection with the ongoing findings regarding irregularities in the visa issuance process."

A former deputy foreign minister, Piotr Wawrzyk, who was dismissed amid reports of his involvement in the scheme, was reportedly hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt. However, there were no credible reports, and no credible evidence was presented proving that Polish security forces are/were killing people at the border with Belarus.

The claim that Poland is under the yoke of the USA is a pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative and is disputed. Poland is a sovereign country. The propaganda against Poland in Belarus and Russia has gone into overdrive after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Pro-Kremlin media have repeatedly falsely claimed Poland is not an independent state; it has "lost its sovereignty" and is now a "puppet state" of the United States or European Union.

On August 7, 2023, Poland's government accused Belarus and Russia of orchestrating another migration influx into the European Union via the Polish border to destabilize the region. Poland's border guard called on the Polish Defense Ministry to deploy 1,000 additional troops on its border with Belarus. During a previous border crisis in the summer of 2021, when tens of thousands of migrants and refugees crossed or attempted to cross into Poland from Belarus, the Western countries accused Belarus of orchestrating the influx with its ally Russia in a "hybrid" attack -- a type of warfare using non-military tactics. Belarus authorities denied these accusations. Poland reacted then by setting up a no-access zone at the border, which lasted for nine months, and banned non-residents, including migrants, aid workers, and media, from the area. It also sent thousands of troops and police officers to reinforce border guard patrols, built a 186 km steel wall along the border, and approved a law allowing migrants to be forced back into Belarus. In June 2022, Human Rights Watch reported that Poland unlawfully, and sometimes violently, summarily pushed migrants and asylum seekers back to Belarus, where they faced serious abuses, including beatings and rape by border guards and other security forces.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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