Ukrainian law enforcement officers send requests to Poland to extradite only those Ukrainians who are involved in the organization of illegal migrant traffic to the EU.

‘Poland begins mass capture and deportation of Ukrainians as cannon fodder to the Ukrainian Forces,’ — this is how the Russian media reacted to the report that the Polish authorities are ready to start the extradition of Ukrainian men involved in illegally crossing state borders. The Russian media, distorting official data, stated that the reason for the expulsion of certain categories of Ukrainians from EU countries was allegedly the failure of the Ukrainian offensive and the catastrophic losses of the Armed Forces. Pro-Kremlin media write that the EU and NATO countries want to continue the anti-Russian war by forced deportation of refugees and claim that only Russia remains the safest country for Ukrainian men.

‘As obvious as it is that the current offensive has not yet led to anything, it does not matter at all for the NATO leaders. Ukrainians are cheap, you can force them into the offensive for as long as you like. However, it is possible that the Ukrainians are captured not for the upcoming offensive, but for the mass training of sabotage groups… One way or another, the capture of Ukrainians by the Poles (besides the fact that it causes certain historical associations) is a new phase of the war without a hint of negotiations,’ Russian media write. 

‘There is only one place and one country where Ukrainians can feel completely safe, and from which they will never be handed over to the current Ukrainian authorities. And you were not mistaken — it is absolutely and undeniably Russia,’ their “experts” claim in all seriousness.

The disinformation in the Russian media is based on an article by the Polish source Rzeczpospolita. It reported that Poland has begun extraditing a separate category of Ukrainian men involved in illegally trafficking people to the countries of the European Union. The article, referring to Polish law enforcement agencies, states that Poland has already handed over to Ukrainian colleagues those persons who organized illegal crossing of the Ukrainian-Polish border by bribing. There is no mention of the mass deportation of Ukrainians or the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the article.

The spokesman of the Polish Police Main Directorate Mariusz Tsiarka explained that the extradition of violators is possible on the condition that Ukraine submits an international request for arrest, and the Polish court makes a positive decision on it.

‘If we detain such a foreigner, for example, for a simple check on the road, our KSIP system (police information system of Poland) will show that he is a person pursued by the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office, because there is Interpol data there. We detain such a person and inform the prosecutor’s office. The Polish court will decide whether to extradite them,’ Mariusz Tsiarka explained.

According to information that Rzeczpospolita received from the Polish Border Service, Poland has already handed over a number of violators at Ukraine’s request. Thus, the article is not about Ukrainian refugees at all, as the Russian media try to present it, but about those Ukrainians who were involved in illegally transporting migrants to Europe.

Ukrainian men who illegally left the country using forged documents can also potentially be extradited from the EU countries. However, this is not the case now as the procedure still has to be improved.

In a comment to Radio Svoboda, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence of Ukraine, Fedir Venislavsky, emphasized that actions related to illegal crossing of Ukraine’s state border are a criminal offense of a personalized nature. For each illegal fact, a request for extradition should be made to foreign colleagues and documents should be provided that the person is hiding from the investigation and the court. However, the final decision in such cases lies with foreign courts. Venislavsky emphasized that there will be no mass extradition of evaders from abroad.

Such narratives about the mass deportation of Ukrainians from the EU to replenish the ranks of the Ukrainian Forces were repeatedly spread by Kremlin sources. StopFake refuted similar statements in the articles Fake: EU May Deport Ukrainians for Military Mobilization in Ukraine and Fake: EU Will Form Military Battalions of Ukrainian Refugees.