Poland extraditing Ukrainians, not NATO soldiers


Original article (in Montenegrin) was published on 7/09/2023; Author: Marko Vukajlović

An information came up in the regional media about NATO soldiers bound to end up on the fronts across Ukraine, which can serve as a good bait to lure the readers, but is a classic clickbait, completely ungrounded in fact.

A headline appeared on one web portal:

SOLDIERS OF A NATO COUNTRY ARE COMING: Poland is handing over 80,000 soldiers to Ukraine

Right away in the very introductory paragraph, the author of the article starts refuting his own headline:

“As soon as the Russian special military operation started, Ukraine banned men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. According to the General Command of the Polish Border Guard, 80,000 military-age males have entered Poland and have not returned since February 24 last year.

The Polish authorities have begun to extradite Ukrainian men who fled the country back to Ukraine.”

Polish newspaper “Zecpospolita” was cited as a source for these claims, as it published on September 5 an article which, among other things, quotes:

“The authorities in Kiev want to locate their citizens in Poland who had used fake certificates to avoid going to war. Finding these people can be difficult and extradition could take years.

80 thousand Ukrainian military age males who are under mobilization entered Poland after February 24, 2022 and disappeared. The Ukrainian authorities are promising to track them down and punish them…”

Therefore, both the disputed article and the original text make it clear that Poland is not handing over “soldiers of a NATO country” to Ukraine, but that the Ukrainians are asking Polish authorities to extradite military-age men who avoided mobilization that was compulsory under the general mobilization decree. The decree prohibits all men fit for military service between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. But, apparently, a large number of them still managed to head across to Poland.

The Russian news agency Tass also covered this story, but without mentioning NATO soldiers, instead, it said that Poland was starting to extradite Ukrainians.

This article is therefore flagged as disinformation. 

The “disinformation” label is assigned to media reports containing a “mix” of facts and inaccurate or semi-true content. In such cases, the media may not necessarily be aware of incorrect information being published alongside the truthful ones. Reports containing false attributions or misleading titles are also labelled as disinformation.