Radek Sikorski didn’t do it for the first time, and yet it gets more dangerous every time. The influential Civic Platform politician and husband of the opinion-shaping Anglo-American publicist has already been acquitted by Donald Tusk, who paved the way for Russian provocations in the era of the Russian invasion of our eastern neighbor.
No wonder the Russian media was boiling with excitement. Radek Sikorski gave them a spectacular gift with his statement on Radio Zet. In Bogdan Rymanowski’s program, the PO politician said: “I think so [rząd PiS] he had a moment of hesitation in the first 10 days of the war, when we all didn’t know how things would go, that Ukraine might fall. And without Zelensky’s heroism and the help of the West, things could have been different. A little earlier he spoke about Russia’s proposals for the partition of Ukraine. Let’s add that the world of Russian-language media has been trying for more than 10 months to convince the public that Poland does not really want to help Ukraine, but wants to take its western lands. During the 150 days of my stay in wartime Ukraine, I saw soldiers laughing at this unleavened propaganda, tapping their heads and ironic that no normal person would believe it. However, when such words come out of the mouth of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, and also the former Minister of National Defense, they can become a snowball that will wipe out many delicate unwritten rules in Poland and Ukraine. Donald Tusk, who was asked to comment on his close associate’s words at a meeting with voters, downplayed the matter. “Why today none of the official media will ask Kaczyński or Morawiecki this question again, why, knowing for weeks that Russia is about to attack Ukraine, they organized meetings in Warsaw with the most pro-Russian politicians in Europe – until the great joy of the Kremlin; Morawiecki went to Madrid. After all, such actions are a hundred times more important than the statements of this or that politician, even if he sometimes has an exuberant temper?” It’s not true. The Kremlin media takes advantage of Sikorski’s statements and shows both Russians and Ukrainians: get it? Poland wants to stab you in the back!
The first threat: helping the Russian invaders
Already on January 23, one of the main Kremlin news agencies, RIA Novosti, sounded the alarm: the former head of the Polish Foreign Ministry, Sikorski, stated that in the early days of the Russian special operation, Warsaw was considering the possibility of dividing Ukraine. The news quickly spread in the Russian-language media. Also, the main Belarusian media center, Belta, quoted the information extensively, reporting it as one of the most important news items of the day. Publicists began commenting, treating Sikorski as an indisputable source of information. Let’s not forget that the Ukrainian reader does not know Polish politics very well and does not know whether Sikorski is a former minister, because he ruled 10 years ago under the pro-German Tusk, or maybe a few months ago he controlled Warsaw’s diplomacy. The reader in Eastern Europe does not know that the Civic Platform is a “total opposition” and that we have Polish media in the country simply promoting lies about the United Right government – here the message is clear: a very important politician from Warsaw revealed the secret that Rzeczpospolita thought about destroying Ukraine hand in hand with Russia. After the explosion of gratitude of the Ukrainians to the Poles (according to the Mieroszewski Center, as many as 3/4 of the Ukrainians developed a very positive opinion of Poland after February 24, 2022), this is the first and serious blow to the image of all Poles . And the mistrust of Ukraine, which has withstood the onslaught of the world’s largest empire for nearly a year.
The second threat: avoiding settlements
Since 2014, Civic Platform and satellite publicists have accused PiS of pro-Russian sympathies. No one in the world picks up on this bluff, especially when after February 24, Poland showed most support for Ukraine, which defended itself against Russia. But Polish liberals know what they are doing – Tusk’s 2007-2014 policy was marked by many decisions that the Kremlin counted on: cancellation of debts to Gazprom, abolition of visas for Russians from Kaliningrad Oblast, strange visits from Tusk’s politicians (including Sławomir Nowak ) in Moscow, handing over the Smolensk research to the Russians, renewing Russian gas contracts and much, much more. Recently, the PO became nervous when TVP INFO aired a documentary about Donald Tusk’s pro-Russian policies entitled “Our man in Warsaw” by Marcin Tulicki. The head of the PO sued the creators of the material and demands that the film be banned! In the face of the powerful TVP, such threats are ineffective, but such utterly irresponsible statements as those of Radek Sikorski distract from the need for real accountability for the PO-PSL government’s pro-Russian policies.
The third threat: compromising the subject
If a subject seriously threatens powerful political forces, it can be ridiculed and its importance reduced. While it is known that in the policy of a major state spreading security in a region attacked by Russia, there must be Russian agents, the current public debate has become permeated with this argument. If Jarosław Kaczyński, Antoni Macierewicz or Piotr Naimski, who have been fighting Moscow’s influence for decades, can be accused of being pro-Russian, it means that the presumption that they favor the Kremlin means nothing. Currently virtually all parliamentary parties are accused of being under Russian influence, so if everyone accuses everyone else, the weight of suspicion based on true premises is drastically reduced. AND this is also what the Russian agents of influence mean – in the shouts of mutual cries of reasonable arguments no one will hear. Radek Sikorski’s statement was such an exaggeration of the alarm about the threat of Russian agents. This not only harms Ukraine, the Polish government and the PO itself – it harms sincere discussion about the threat from the east.
The fourth threat: the advancement of a total lie
In an election year, such a lie about the government’s intentions has dramatic significance. When one side of an electoral dispute can formulate some slander that also harms the security of the country, it means that the time of total destruction of the Polish state is coming. It was already allowed to lie about alleged refugees who stormed our eastern border after a training in Moscow, it was allowed to threaten a shortage of coal for the whole country, now it is allowed to lie about the most important decisions of the Polish authorities, which prevent us from sending soldiers 20 kilometers from Przemyśl Vladimir Putin. The opposition becomes total not only in obstructing state procedures and work, but also in spreading total lies. Playing so carelessly with the threat of real, post-Nazi genocide from Moscow means they can lie about anything. They can promise low taxes, swear that they will not sell out Polish companies, that they will not reduce our military, that they will not end support for families – they can swear absolutely anything and then brutally retreat.
Because right now there is nothing more serious than the Russian threat. In Ukraine, I saw traces of the underground concentration camp in Jagodnim (“Sieci” 32/2022), mass graves at Izium (“Sieci” 39/22) or Russian attacks on Bakhmut – this enemy of Poland and Europe has no scruples, wants to subdue and destroy. In such an apocalypse, if Radek Sikorski or Donald Tusk don’t wake up to defend their homeland, it means that no filth, absolutely no reflex of decency will stop them from marching to power across the Vistula. This is really a huge threat to Poland, which may simply not survive a possible tenure of liars in the service of foreign countries.