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How Poles are now accusing Ukraine of spreading fake news because of our mistake

The Polish media accuse the Ukrainian government portal of spreading fake news due to an error in the broadcast.

Polish media have launched accusations against the Ukrainian government portal, alleging the dissemination of fake news stemming from an on-air error. 

Polish journalists have accused Ukraine of information warfare after an error was made in a program. The incident happened when Alina Bondarchuk, head of the Disinformation Collection and Monitoring Department at the Centre for Countering Disinformation, declared that “russia has exported 12 million tonnes of grain to Poland in two years.” 

The accurate figure is 12,000 tonnes.


In her on-air remarks, Bondarchuk cited two figures: russia purportedly exported 12 million tonnes of grain to Poland, and Ukraine — 4.3 million tonnes. 

Her statement was widely circulated in the Ukrainian media community. 

However, subsequent examination by social media users revealed the data to be inaccurate. Despite this, the error has not yet been corrected on the Centre for Countering Disinformation’s YouTube channel.

Bondarchuk got the data from a publication by Anatoliy Kurnosov, an expert at the Doktryna Centre for Political Studies, who later admitted the error in his own post.

We’re talking about the data in the article “Farmers’ uprising in the EU; blocking the borders with Ukraine. What does Russia have to do with it?” for the “Viewpoint” section of Radio Liberty. 

“In the first eight months of 2023, member states imported 31% more wheat and corn from russia compared to the same period last year. In total, russia is responsible for 24% of global wheat exports, while before the full-scale invasion it was 16%.”

He then admitted his mistake and corrected himself.

“In 2022, Poland imported 6,140,734 kg of grain from russia. In total, 5,870,316 kg of grain entered the country from January 1, 2023, to the end of May 2023. I made a significant mistake comparing them with imports from Ukraine, where we’re talking about millions of tonnes. Hence, the following misinterpretation about the allegedly significantly larger number of russian imports,” Kurnosov said

However, by the time of Kurnosov’s correction, the misinformation had already been disseminated by the Centre for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, sparking a negative reaction in Polish media and accusations of Ukraine conducting an information warfare campaign.

“The Centre for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council accuses Polish farmers of blocking the inflow of Ukrainian grain to Poland, while suggesting that the country receives more grain from russia, which is absolutely false,” wrote one Polish media outlet. 

“The war in Ukraine is ongoing, and this includes an information war. The official Ukrainian State Centre for Countering Disinformation provided incorrect data on imports of russian grain to Poland,” noted another specialized portal focusing on agricultural affairs. 

Ultimately, the expert’s mistake, utilized by an employee of the Centre for Countering Disinformation, fueled yet another wave of negative sentiment toward Ukraine amid tensions with Polish farmers opposing agricultural imports from Ukraine to the EU small logo

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Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
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