Interview with Deputy Director of the Centre for Polish-Russian dialogue and understanding łukasz Adamski (Łukasz Adamski).
Polskie Radio: the Centre for Polish-Russian dialogue and reconciliation issued a report entitled “the Image of Poland in Russia through the prism of disputes on historical issues”. A study of public opinion engaged in “Levada-center”. Does this document comprehensive answer to the question what the Russians think about our country and the history of our relationship?
Łukasz Adamski: a Comprehensive answer, he probably does not, because every survey of public opinion has its methodological limitations. However, we learned that the Russians think about some key events in the history of relations between Poland and Russia. We asked the question whether they justified the partition of Poland agree with the statement that in 1920 the poles and freed Ukraine Kiev, does the Polish government responsible for the outbreak of the Second world war.
These are issues connected with the events of the XX century, especially actively discussed in recent years, the Kremlin, the Russian diplomats, the Russian propaganda. Ask about the attitude of Russians to the partition of Poland we are persuaded by the statement of the Russian Ambassador Sergey Andreev, who four years ago were openly defended the policy of Catherine II, saying that she had just attached the Russian land.
The overall picture is pretty grim. Sections approve 69% of respondents that associated with the belief of Russians in Russian nationalism, imperialism, social Darwinism (it indirectly explains why they supported Putin’s adventure in Ukraine). If the political culture in Russia has not become more civilized traits, our security will be threatened. Happy, in turn that young people (those who are less than 35 years) more often than the older generation distanciruemsa from the approach to history based on the ideology of Russian imperialism or great Russian nationalism.
— Let me remind you that just recently, Russia attacked Poland, distorting our history. She accused the poles that they were “silent accomplices” of the Third Reich and so on. In an interview to Polskie radio, you admit that the Russians are already tired of anti-Ukrainian propaganda, and Poland’s well-suited for the role of the “new enemy”. This conclusion also follows from your report?
It turned out that 10% of Russians call originator or one of those responsible for the outbreak of the Second world war Poland. I’m willing to bet that half a dozen and even just a few years ago no one in Russia and the head would not come. This is the effect of Putin’s propaganda.
Poland, of course, is not so well suited for the role of enemy of Russia, like Ukraine, since the Ukrainians and Russians there are more serious conflict in the field of historical memory. There are also such issues as, for example, the attitude of the UPA (banned in Russia organization — approx.ed.) in which Russians and poles together.
On the other hand, how much can you torture Russians another message about the “Ukrainian Nazis”? The Kremlin at the psychological reasons is necessary from time to time to seek new enemies and concentrate on them. It could be Lithuanians, poles. Two years ago, Russian TV viewers heard the root of all evil was and remains England. In any case, in the history of Polish-Russian relations have very much to those in the corresponding flow can be used as material for propaganda.
In may the Centre for Polish-Russian dialogue and reconciliation issued a report “Information warfare and historical propaganda.” It was based on a study of social consciousness of poles in the context of the impact of Russian disinformation. How long can the Russian campaign of falsification and relativize the history of the twentieth century, what impact is it having on the Polish-Russian relations?
— This campaign will be as long as Putin is in power until he and his entourage will assume that it is beneficial for them politically. The first depends on the Russians themselves and the will of Providence. Poland, however, can effectively use the Russian propaganda attacks in order to spread abroad (and to what extent and in Russian) information about the Soviet crimes and the Kremlin manipulation. One day Putin will be forced to acknowledge or recognize that historic war Warsaw, which he decided to unleash, have brought him much more harm than benefit.
Summary of “December offensive”, when Putin tried to convince the world that Poland bears responsibility for outbreak of the Second world war and is one of the masterminds of the Holocaust, proved to be unsatisfactory for the Kremlin. The European elite expressed its solidarity with Poland. Now about our report, wrote the most influential German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. This is another positive signal, showing that including our neighbors aware of what threats stem from the obsession with Putin history
— Can you tell with what instruments effectively and sometimes imperceptibly spreading their false scandalous thesis?
— We see, of course, the work of the propaganda machine that is the media, diplomats, serving the Kremlin commentators and experts. In addition, Russia uses historians and pseudo-historians from the Pro – “historical societies” run by people like the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky, or the head of the foreign intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin.
I believe, however, that the promotion is not capable to convince of the veracity of Putin’s speculations on the theme of history, not only abroad, but even to have a critical thinking of the Russians. 40% of our participants adhere to the anti-Soviet interpretation of history, or recognize that the peoples of Central Europe have a right to have their own historic identity.
Much more dangerous activity of various experts or historians (often with credibility in the West), which for Patriotic reasons, because of lack of awareness and its relations with the Kremlin promotes the idea that history rewrites not only Putin, but also Poland, what they are to each other. Such arguments, although their insolvency is easy to prove, find grateful listeners in the face of some representatives of Western elites. People who know little about Poland or prejudiced against the Polish leadership for ideological reasons. In this regard, of particular importance is the solidarity of the poles and all the other peoples of our region in the fight against Kremlin propaganda.
— Can you, based on previous experience to predict what will happen next operation Moscow? Decide whether it is to embroil us, for example, with the closest neighbours, Lithuania and Ukraine?
— For this purpose, the Kremlin has focused for a long time. Even the questions of “jokers” (I’m talking about history, which is now much debated) was intended to provoke the head of the Polish state to make such a statement, which can be used for the image of Poland in the way of revisionist States with territorial claims to the neighbors.
You may recall how Poland in a bad light trying to portray the Russian state media regularly telling us about her alleged claims to the territory of Ukraine and Belarus, the activities of “unknown criminals” who destroyed Polish monuments in Ukraine and Ukrainian in Poland. I, however, doubt that Moscow is really able to sow seeds of distrust in relations between Poland and its Lithuanian and Ukrainian friends. Our ties are too strong to make this work, especially the authors of the provocation are primitive.