<strong>“Slavic Irredentism” as a Hybrid Challenge to Polish National Statehood by the Russian Totalitarian Regime</strong>

“Slavic Irredentism” as a Hybrid Challenge to Polish National Statehood by the Russian Totalitarian Regime

Since the beginning of the Russian Federation large-scale military invasion of Ukraine and the provision of comprehensive and very tangible military-political, diplomatic and humanitarian support and assistance to the Ukrainian society by the Republic of Poland authority, the rhetoric of a number of radical and pro-Russian Polish socio-political organisations and movements has also undergone significant changes. It is reported by Upmp.news.

The Kremlin’s military aggression against Ukraine turned out not only to dispell the myth of the “invincibility of the second army of the world”, but it also brought to mind yesterday’s “mouthpieces” and “friends” of the Kremlin in the Visegrad countries.

Thus, just recently, to the benefit of Russian agitation, in the Polish information space a number of Polish non-governmental organizations were quite confidently engaged in biased and prejudiced coverage of controversial pages of 1943-1944 Ukrainian-Polish history, while promoting the narrative of the inadmissibility of a dialogue of understanding and consensus between the Polish and Ukrainian peoples, forming hostile attitude to the Ukrainian statehood and the Ukrainian people in Poland and hanging various propaganda clichés and labels on Ukrainians; often the centers of suggestive technologies with Smolensk or Moscow registration were their authors. Since February 24, these “broadcasters” have actually disappeared from the media field or have been trying to “keep in the shadows” in order not to attract attention of both the Polish society and law enforcement agencies of the Republic.

However, the Russian totalitarian regime could not accept the complete loss of levers of influence on the Polish society, and therefore, Serhiy Fedoniuk, Director of the Center for Strategic Communications Research at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, claims it was decided to remove the most marginal pro-Russian groups from the “deck of agents of influence” which, in the conditions of a kind of “veto” for the “Ukrainian issue” in the Polish information space, were ready to occupy the niche of  “Ukraine-hating” organizations and to accumulate not only ardent supporters of the “Russkiy mir”, but also the most latent Russophiles.

According to the Ukrainian experts, “Friendly Circle – Slavic Division”, the Polish paramilitary and pan-Slavic group with neo-Nazi and pagan ideologemes and “anti-Western”, “Euro-skeptical” and “anti-NATO” program principles, was one of such organizations.

As the recent history of Putin’s Russia has shown, the use of neo-Nazi, racist and extremist groups for gross interference in the internal affairs of other states has become a real asset for the oligarchic and corrupt elite from the cooperative “Ozero”, which, in combination with the post-Soviet propaganda machine and hypocritical diplomacy performed by the favorite jester of the Supreme Chekist, have become almost the main means for the totalitarian regime to maintain power within the country and for the growth of this tumor in other territories.

As of today, in the big Russian bogs there are dozens of organizationally ramified extremist entities that use Nazi and fascist symbols and attributes as their main ideologemes; these organizations promote the supremacy of the white race and the inferiority of certain peoples, produce hatred and enmity between nations, ethnic and religious groups. In the Russian media sphere such groups as “Russian Imperial Movement”, “Russian National Unity”, “People’s Liberation Movement’, “Rusich”, “Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival”, “Association of the memory of General M.G. Drozdovsky and the ranks of the Drozdovsky Division”, “Russian All-Military Union” and “Black Hundred” are the most prominent.

However, instead of fighting the invasion of neo-Nazi and racist organizations on the territory of their country, since 2014 the leadership of the aggressor state has decided to use the latter as a “torn Soviet shoe” to encroach on the state sovereignty of Ukraine and to promote its chauvinistic and xenophobic worldview known in the European society as the “Russkiy mir”.

In this paradigm, the functionaries of the “Friendly Circle – Slavic Division”, who, similarly to their ideological “brothers” from across “the curb”, gravitate towards the attributes of the Third Reich, were prepared by Russian propaganda to play the role of “fighters against the Western occupation of Poland”. Thus, instead of accusing them of Nazism and hanging clichés of “fascists” and “pagan sectarians”, the Russian information agenda decided to portray the members of the organization as supporters of “Polish-Russian friendship” who oppose the Polish Government foreign policy towards Russia and call it “Russophobic”; they are in solidarity with the “fraternal Russian people”, declare the need to restore economic cooperation and humanitarian exchange with the terrorist state and promote, to the detriment of Poland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the concept of creating, together with Russia, Belarus, Serbia and other Slavic countries, the so-called “fraternal union” in the form of a confederation. And in its basis they offer to lay the Slavic Irredentism.

However, as it turned out, these Russian narratives were indeed confirmed in the activities of this organization. In particular, this year, in unison with Russia’s armed intervention in Ukraine, the functionaries of the “Friendly Circle – Slavic Division” have held at least five events in the Polish public space to support the imperial ambitions of the aggressor country, in which they have not only upheld Moscow’s territorial claims to the Crimean peninsula, but also encouraged the paramilitary formations, which, claiming the “God’s chosenness of Russians”, terrorize and destroy the Ukrainian people under the slogans “Ukraine – Russia”, “For Great Russia”, “For Russ Iredenta”, “Kyiv will be either Russian or deserted, and the deserted will suit us too”.

The “Russian-Slavic Unification and Revival” is one of such Russian paramilitary organizations; since 2014 its militants have been carrying out terrorist and reconnaissance-subversive activities against Ukraine in some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as part of the “Rusich” sabotage and assault reconnaissance group, coordinated with the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, and as of today they are directly involved in the armed aggression of Russia as part of the 107th rifle battalion of the mobilization reserve of the 100th  separate motorized rifle brigade of the DPR Republican Guard (military unit 08826), the 112th separate squadron of the Sudoplatov volunteer battalion and the private military company “Wagner Group”.

Owing to this pan-Slavic organization the functionaries of the “Friendly Circle –Slavic Division” actually became tainted with “Russian” chauvinism and joined the circle of “friends” of the Kremlin totalitarian regime. However, wearing this rotten status required the Polish Nazis to make appropriate “gestures” towards their fellows. Thus, while in their social networks the militants of the above-mentioned Russian formation reported about the next capture of Polish citizens who defended the independence and identity of the Ukrainian people from the Moscow occupier, their Polish “colleagues” expressed their sincere wishes for militants’ victory on the battlefield.

The Center for Strategic Communications Research emphasizes: “The media rhetoric specificity and program principles of the “Friendly Circle – Slavic Division” are very typical for pro-Russian organizations of the so-called “soft power”. Specifically, they are aimed at propagating the “Russkiy mir” chauvinistic concept in the information space of Poland, undermining its defense capability and national statehood, as well as promoting the Pan-Slavism artificial ideology as the first step to the formation of separatist ideas in the Polish society about the need for partial loss of the state’s own sovereignty and Poland’s transition under Moscow’s protectorate in order to fight against the “hostile West”; and therefore they indicate that this group has already become a de facto unofficial “mouthpiece” of the Kremlin to promote Russian propaganda narratives in one of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance”.

At the same time, despite the existence of the obvious threats emanating from the organization “Friendly Circle – Slavic Division” and its Moscow patrons, the activity of the said entity is still not banned in Poland, and its members continue to conduct military training and to carry delegated from abroad destructive narratives to be thrown into the Polish society which question the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Poland.

#war #aggression #rashism #nazism #infoinfluences