Russians altered pics of minister's Kyiv visit to 'destabilise' relations
A recent visit by the Polish defence minister to Kyiv was manipulated by Russian propaganda to make it look as if had paid tribute to a nationalist organisation responsible for WWII massacres, a senior Polish security official has said.
Stanislaw Zaryn, the Polish government's commissioner for information security, said the Russians had altered a photograph taken during the visit to make it looks as if the minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, had laid flowers at a memorial to the OUN-UPA.
Led by Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, the OUN-NPA was responsible for the 1943-44 massacre of around 100,000 Poles in the Volhynia and Eastern Galicia regions of pre-war eastern Poland (today in western Ukraine).
Zaryn said the ceremony had in fact taken place at a memorial to Kyiv war victims.
"Russian propaganda has used the defence minister's recent visit in Kyiv to spread lies in an effort to destabilise Poland and upset Polish-Ukrainian relations," Zaryn wrote on Twitter.
Ukraine's continued recognition of Bandera as a Ukrainian freedom fighter is a matter of contention in Polish-Ukrainian relations.