Distortion: Poland Appropriates Ukrainian Cities Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne

Russian and Ukrainian media recently featured stories about Polish trains on which the Ukrainian cities of Lviv, Lutsk and Rivne are painted on the train cars within the Polish state border. They also emphasized that this territorial scandal coincided with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Poland. The train in question was in fact launched in 2018 and the map painted on the train which really does include Ukrainian cities, reflects historical post World War I realities when the Second Polish Republic included these Ukrainian cities. 

Website Sputnik
Website screenshot Znaj.ua
Website @dnrpress

Although these trains were launched in 2018, pro-Kremlin media and their Ukrainian followers began to write about them only after several emotionally charges social media posts appeared.

Polish Sputnik claimed that Ukrainians were pouring out their outrage on social media. However, some of them reacted to this with humor, suggesting that Ukraine do the same with Polish cities painted on Ukrainian trains, Polish Sputnik points out.

The Ukrainian site Strana.ua picks up Sputnik’s story about the trains and links it President Zelensky’s visit to Poland. “On the day of Zelensky’s visit Poles were accused of territorial claims. Photos of the Rzeszow-Przemysl train with maps featuring Lviv, Rivne and Lutsk as part of Poland appeared on social media” Strana wrote.

Even the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic got into the game tweeting “Poland is reevaluating maps and including western Ukrainian cities on them”.

Launching its new electric train which services the Podkarpackie, or Subcarpathian region, Poland’s rail company Polregio said the new train design was intended to mark the 100th anniversary of the return of Polish Independence.  The new train is not green and blue, like Poland’s other trains, but in Poland’s national colors of red and white. The colors and design reflect historical events of the post-World War I period. The design uses the figure of Polish statesman Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, marching legions, and a map of the Polish Commonwealth after the return of Polish independence in 1918.