Polish television did not show the map with the annexed Ukrainian territories

Freepik/@ user17605885

Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 24/01/2023

Some media reported that the Polish public broadcaster showed a map featuring a part of the territory of Ukraine annexed to Poland. This kind of map, however, was never shown on that television.

On January 17, 2023, the web portal Fakti published an article claiming that a television channel in Poland showed a weather forecast featuring a modified map of that country. Allegedly, some territories of Ukraine were added to the map and represented as part of Poland. The article features the following title:

Polish television published a map that included nine regions in the west of Ukraine

In the article, a photo was published as “proof” that this happened, and it is claimed that this television did something similar earlier, in 2022.

POLISH television channel TVP1 showed an updated map of that country with a considerable part of the territory of today’s Western Ukraine.

The map appeared during the broadcast of the weather forecast.

On the map, Lviv is a Polish city, and the “border” of Poland is closer to Kyiv. By three times!


In March 2022, the same TV channel presented a map of the division of Ukraine.

We found the same claims in seven more articles from the domestic media. On the web portal Izmedju sna i jave, the claim about Polish television was used to support the claims of Russian assistant professor of mass communications Gevorg Mirzayan about the division of Ukraine. The picture of the frame from the weather forecast allegedly broadcast on TVP1 was also shared in other languages (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). 

What are the facts?

TVP1 is a television channel of the Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska S.A. (TVP). The logo of this channel can be seen in the upper right corner of the picture which “proves” the mentioned claims. The map shows the territory of Poland marked in red, which also covers parts of Ukraine.

However, this image does not show a frame from the weather forecast on the TVP1 channel. The French platform The Observers and the Ukrainian StopFake wrote about it.

On January 18, 2023, the web portal of the Polish public broadcaster TVP Info published a statement denying claims that appeared in certain media and on social networks. As they pointed out, such a map was never shown on this television channel, and they called these claims “Russian propaganda”.

An alleged screen from the weather forecast on Polish television, in which Poland covers a large part of Ukraine, is being shared on the networks. The material has been manipulated and aims to convince the Russian public of the theses spread by the centres in Moscow. Such material was never on TVP, and the logo was pasted.

The background used by TVP1 in its weather forecasts looks completely different.

Photo: YouTube channel TVP Info

TVP Info also states that the picture shows a real weather forecaster from the television channel Trwam from Poland, but a different background has been placed behind her. According to The Observers, the image of the presenter is most likely taken from the weather forecast shown on this television in March 2020, which can be found here. The image was subsequently rotated and its background was changed.

Photo: Observers.france24.com; Comparison between Trwam weather forecast of March 8, 2020 and an image shared online

The Observers also points out typographical errors on a map shared with claims that it shows the territories of Ukraine as part of Poland. These errors indicate that this kind of map is not shown on Polish television. In several places, the names of countries are written without Polish diacritical marks. Thus, the map features SLOWACJA and BIALORUS, while the correct spelling in Polish is SŁOWACJA and BIAŁORUŚ.

Finally, the claim that TVP1 “presented a map of the division of Ukraine” in March 2022 is not true either. As the platform AFP Provera cinjenica explains, it was then claimed that this channel showed a map of the division of Ukraine “for which the West is ready”. However, according to AFP, such a map was not shown at that time and in that context, but in 2014 when it was an illustration of “the official offer sent to Poland by the recently deceased Russian far-right leader and member of the Russian Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovsky”.

The map showing part of the territory of Ukraine “annexed” to Poland was, therefore, subsequently added behind the presenter and was not part of the weather forecast. In addition, the presenter shown in the picture, next to the TVP1 logo, actually conducts the weather forecast on a completely different Polish television channel. TVP1 denied that such a map was ever shown on this channel.
Given all the facts, we evaluate the claim that TVP1 “showed an updated map” of Poland with annexed parts of Ukraine, first published on the web portal Fakti, as fake news. We evaluate other publications of the same claims as the distribution of fake news.

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