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Fact Checking a Map That Depicts Part of Ukraine as Polish Territory
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Fact Checking a Map That Depicts Part of Ukraine as Polish Territory

The image is fake, and Poland has not annexed Western Ukraine.

This map shows an accurate depiction of Poland and Ukrainian territory. (Photo from Getty Images.)

An image circulating online purports to show a weather map that depicts Polish territory extending well into Western Ukraine. The image is fake.

Anti-NATO social media accounts online are citing the image as evidence for their claim that the NATO countries have no genuine interest in aiding Ukraine, preferring to colonize it themselves.

However, the image is not authentic. The television channel logo in the top right hand corner of the image is from Telewizja Polska, a major Polish broadcaster that has already released an article on its website disowning the image. The headline translates in English to “Russian Propaganda Spreads a Fake Map.” 

The image of the weather presenter in front of the map has been taken from a March 2020 weather broadcast from another TV station, Telewizja Trwam, in which the image of the presenter can be seen in its original context. The fake image shows a mirrored version of the original, placing the presenter on the left side of the map instead of the right as in the authentic broadcast below.

The image also betrays its inauthenticity by spelling place names without using the proper Polish characters. The Polish name for Kyiv is “Kijów” as opposed to “Kijow” as the fake image has it. Likewise, “Belarus” in Polish is “Białoruś” and not “Bialorus” and “Lviv” is “Lwów” and not “Lwow.”  

No such image as the one in question was ever broadcast on Polish television and Ukraine’s sovereignty remains unchallenged by Poland and its other Western neighbors. 

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Cameron Hilditch is a fact-check reporter for The Dispatch.