Decades of false reporting

My comment on the article Putin has become tangled in his own web by Roger Boyes in The Times, 20 October 2020. Polish version: Dziesięciolecia błędnych artykułów.

Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 21 October 2020
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times 21 October 2020

“He finds Lukashenko embarrassing and ducked out of at least one meeting with him in Moscow, yet under pressure from Minsk he has put the Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, exiled in Lithuania, on the Russian wanted list. If he wants quiet on Russia’s western front, he has decided, Lukashenko has to be propped up.”

The Times record, including Mr Boyes, on reporting and interpreting Eastern Europe is not particularly great. We are now in 2020, after decades of false reporting.

This reasoning is based on assumptions that might apply to a western democracy, but not to Communist states. It ignores what happened there during the last hundred years. It postulates implicitly certain type of stupidity and lack of cunning among the Russian rulers.

If anything, they outsmarted consistently the West.

For example, the changes of 1989-90 in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe were not related to the overthrow of Communism. This was merely a reorganisation, a change of scenography. It was the Communists themselves who organised ‘the opposition’ recruiting from their own ranks, with Adam Michnik and Tadeusz Mazowiecki their prime examples in Poland. Mr Boyes apparently either failed to notice the obvious or decided to cleanse his narrative of contradicting elements

It is no different in Belarus this time.



Incorrect assumptions

My comment on Tony Brenton’s article Another martyr for democracy is the last thing Vladimir Putin needs in The Telegraph, 20 August 2020.

Lech Borkowski
21 Aug 2020 2:35PM

Western analyses of events and situation in Russia and elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc are formed on incorrect assumptions. While they are formally correct within the western logic, the regimes of the Eastern Bloc went far beyond the confines of that logic.

The so-called ‘velvet revolution’ of 1989-90 is viewed mistakenly as the collapse of Communism. This is an incorrect interpretation. The velvet transition to a simulated democracy was sign of dictatorship’s strength, not weakness. The strong, thorough control of the state enabled the transition to the next stage. The so-called ‘democratic opposition’ to Communism was the creation of Communist political technologists. The activists were recruited from among the most loyal members of the dictatorship.

The transition process was spread over many years, hence even greater confusion among western observers. Patient, detailed observation of the daily reality of the Eastern Bloc states reveals that those states continue to follow the Communist pattern, although they avoid using the Communist rhetoric and symbols. Arranging fake conflicts, political and otherwise is no problem. Corruption scandals? No problem.

If you want to catch a fly, you have two main options: (1) a sudden catching move, which is faster than fly’s reflexes, (2) a slow, patient series of incremental moves, which remain below the fly’s cognitive threshold. The first stage of Communism’s confrontation with the West, which ended in 1990, made the western fly too nervous. The same western fly post-1990 is much more agreeable and cooperating, and accepts the series of incremental moves slowly leading to its demise.

Opposition figures such as Navalny are projects of political technology run by the state. If necessary, they can be terminated by staging the activist’s death. This is no problem. We are talking about the state which runs on falsification for more than one hundred years already. The theatrical actions of the state against Navalny, which reinforce his public visibility and credibility in the West, serve the fake narrative. Putin and Navalny are players in the same team.

It is a bit like watching a fixed sport’s match. Those unaware cannot comprehend they may be watching a fake competition.

Western thinking is firmly frozen within the Orwellian framework, but there is more than one way to run a dictatorship. Western societies have not lived under a Communist dictatorship and they mostly refuse to comprehend the enormity of lies and the extraordinary capacity of the totalitarian state to generate fake narratives. No one expresses a surprise about a seemingly endless supply of dissidents in a state which can easily liquidate everyone.

Demonstrations and strikes can be easily arranged as well. If you look at Belarus these days, the so-called ‘opposition’ has no program. Their members come from privileged sectors of the Communist dictatorship and their interests are identical to those of Lukashenko.

The totalitarian state has the entire state apparatus at its disposal. The preferable method of liquidating someone who is truly inconvenient is a series of provocations masqueraded as entirely accidental events without external witnesses and without alerting the western media. An inconvenient person is liquidated before it becomes known to western audience.

My wife and I have a lot of personal experience with the subject matter.




Polish-Soviet friendship 2.0

My comment on the article Polish president looks for US troops to give him edge in election by Oliver Moody in The Times, 25 June 2020.

There is a misunderstanding about the changes of 1989-90. It was not, as it is usually presented, a ‘transition to democracy’. The ruling Communists maintained the same firm grip on power. What changed, was decorations and the plurality of lies.

As the Soviet troops were withdrawing from Poland in the first half of the 1990s, a contingent of civil operatives were brought in from the Soviet republics, who were installed at the state cultural and scientific institutions. Jobs, that were difficult to get for qualified Polish citizens, were given to the Russians. Given the circumstances and the logistics of this exercise, it was clearly the result of a cooperation of Poland, Russia, and the Soviet republics.

There was no obvious need that these people would fulfill.

Poland pretended to be officially an opponent of Russia, while on the ground continued the Communist business-as-usual. The mutual recognition of university degrees and other certificates continued until Poland entered the European Union in 2004. So, if you e.g. had a degree from a top western university, you had to go through the verification process with your diploma. However, if your degree was from Belarus, Kazakhstan, or any place in Russia, it was automatically accepted as valid.

In my wife’s workplace, at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra in what is now western Poland, the head of the piano section was and probably still is an operative from Leningrad. That woman came to Poland around 1991 to a school of music in a small town in south-west Poland. Later on she moved to a better known school on the Polish-German border, and finally, after another couple of years to Zielona Góra. These moves would not have been possible without any special backing. These are jobs which are difficult to obtain for the Poles.

There are quite many examples of this policy in Poland. Quite obviously this is the next phase of the Polish-Soviet friendship.

These Russian operatives do not have any particularly precious expertise. Their presence contradicts common sense and sometimes even the law.

My wife was fired from the said School of Music in Zielona Góra, despite being the most successful piano teacher. Interestingly, the Russians (there is more than one of them in the school), often used the Soviet and Russian editions of classic composers, which were clearly falsified. The musical text was clearly wrong. It was not only the cyrillic of the letters, that was the problem. but also the musical text. But nobody dared to raise the issue.

This tells you more about reality than the noise about American troops, which might come to Poland.

If they come, they will be puppets in someone else’s hands. Americans do not have a clue.



Criminal state in Poland unchanged since 1944

This text is a response to another reader’s comment following The Times article Airman held hostage by the Soviets missed VE Day celebrations by Mark Bridge, 8 May 2020.

11 May 2020

The latest of the comments made by the user […] agrees with the Communist/Russian narrative. It presents a narrative which I know to be false.

Quote 1: “The Soviets and Russians have always operated by means of manipulation and intrigue, and for Poland and the Baltic States this has meant that they are almost permanently in a situation of having to monitor and restrain such external influence”

In Poland, the state apparatus and its functionaries are the same people as before 1990. There was no change apart from some redecoration. Their modus operandi is the same as that of the Soviet/Russian state, although this may not be immediately clear to an average observer due to, yes, manipulation, intrigue, and use fake symbolism.

Quote 2: “most of all I would ask readers to consider that this is exactly the kind of ongoing infiltration that the current Polish government is having to deal with and is doing its utmost to eradicate. This alone explains the great popularity of the PIS party currently in power. Previous Polish governments have had their fair share of corrupt pro-Soviet officials and their successors in their midst. If they were not pro-Soviet and espoused that mentality, they would not have risen to their positions in the first place, and so when the Soviet Union fell, these were the only kinds of public officials and civil servants in power available to take over.”

This is false as well. It is another typical element of the fake narrative. The current Polish government is no different from previous Polish governments, except for some superficial symbolism and some rhetoric, which are just a camouflage. As I wrote in a comment to another Times article recently, I was a PiS party member from 2008 to 2010. I saw it from inside.

The leader of PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, comes from a family privileged under Communism and serving the Communist state most loyally. His father was a Communist party member and mother worked at the Institute for Literary Studies.

Russians do not need “a foothold” in Poland, because Poland is run by the functionaries loyal to the same cause.

My pianist wife Małgorzata Głuchowska and I were fired in 2015 from our jobs at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in Poland, respectively. We were fired for who we are and we stand for.

The head of the piano section in the school where my wife worked is a woman from Leningrad, a Russian. This is not an isolated case and not an accident.

The authorities, including prime ministers and presidents, past and present, are well informed about what has been done to us. The campaign against our family bears all the marks of the characteristically Communist modus operandi. There is plenty of evidence. We presented it to the prosecutor office. It is also available online in Polish and English.

History has not ended. It continues. My parents Irena Borkowska (Ostrowska) and Bolesław Borkowski were targets of Communist persecution. They were imprisoned for many years in Soviet concentration camps after WWII. My wife’s grandfather Aleksander Głuchowski fought with the Polish forces in Italy during WWII. When he returned to Poland in 1947, he was immediately imprisoned by the Communists. He died in 1952 at the age of 45.

There is a perfect continuity of the criminal state in Poland from 1944 to this day.



Narrative control with Wikipedia

My comment on The Times’ article Kremlin drops plans for state-approved Wikipedia by Marc Bennetts, May 15, 2020. The text was blocked and did not appear among readers’ comments.

Lech Borkowski

Russia’s decision to abandon the official state-run equivalent of wikipedia does not make much difference. Wikipedia in Eastern Europe is controlled by the same people who control the state anyway. It is a perfect tool for controlling the public narrative about essentially everything. So while its editors are allegedly a bunch of enthusiasts, in fact they are not.

I was fired from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, in October 2015. I was contacted by someone unknown to me on October 28 with the suggestion that a Wikipedia page be made about me. I objected to it, but the page was created anyway. The next day, on October 29, I received a letter dismissing me from my job at the University, signed by a deputy Rector (university vice-president, there are several of them).

If you go to my Twitter feed, @LechSBorkowski, you can watch a brief video I and my wife made in 2016 after we were both fired from our jobs for political reasons.

I looked up the name of the Wikipedia guy on the Internet. He was apparently employed in the law section of one of the Polish dailies. It turned out that Wikipedia pages of the entire Department of Physics of the Adam Mickiewicz University were created at the time. This is, of course, atypical and very unusual. I remember that a recent Nobel Prize winner did not have a Wikipedia page. I do not know of any other university where all faculty members of the department, at the last count 124 of them, would have a Wikipedia entry.

If you go to Wikipedia’s Polish section and search for “Lech Borkowski” you will find the entry about me. This entry is arranged in a peculiar way with the aim to control certain keywords that would be associated with me and falsify the narrative about me.

To see the Dept. of Physics page, search for “Wydzial Fizyki UAM”. You will see all the faculty names. The departmental Wikipedia page shows the administrative structure and contains information typically found on institutions’ own websites. In other words, it duplicates information from the institution’s website without providing any new value.

Wikipedia is just another social medium and is easily abused. It is naive to ignore it. It is also naive to believe in a “self-correcting” myth of social media, including Wikipedia.



Soviets tortured Poles in Brześć (Brest) in 1945

Comment following The Times article Airman held hostage by the Soviets missed VE Day celebrations by Mark Bridge, 8 May 2020.

Bolesław Borkowski, document from Communist concentration camp, page 1, 1954 concentration
Bolesław Borkowski, document from Communist concentration camp, 1954, page 1

On this day 75 years ago, my father Bolesław Borkowski was imprisoned by the Soviet NKVD in the citadel in Brześć (Brest) on the river Bug. The Soviets tortured Polish prisoners. At night, those sitting in the cells heard the cries of the tortured ones. The cells were terribly overcrowded, filthy, with puddles of standing water. The overcrowding was such that they had to take turns sleeping, while sitting on the floor.

My father avoided the torture only because he had the guts to stand up to the interrogator and threaten him if he came closer. As the interrogator tried to get up from his seat, my father immediately told him to sit down, telling “Sit down. If you only try to touch me, I will not be responsible for my reaction. You are worse than the Nazis”.

He was desperate, determined and ready to fight and lose his life right there on the spot. A bit of luck helped as well, as the interrogator was alone with my father at that moment. The torture was usually conducted with one or more other NKVD men in the room.

My father was later sent to a Soviet concentration camp in northern Russia, in the Arkhangelsk area, where he remained from 1945 to 1954. He spent further two years in exile in the area. He was lucky to survive.

He met my mother in the camp. She and several other members of her family were imprisoned by the Soviets after WWII. My mother was imprisoned from 1949 to 1956. The trauma was enormous. For her the war that started in 1939, when their area was occupied by the Soviet Union, never ended.

My wife’s grandfather Aleksander Głuchowski fought with the Polish army in Italy. When he returned from the UK to Poland in 1947, he was immediately imprisoned by the Communists. He died in 1952 at the age of 45. His wife remained in Poland with their little son. She died in 1945, right after the war ended.



Communist subjugation of church

Comment on The Times’ article Putin and Stalin exalted beside angels in Russia’s ‘pagan temple’ by Marc Bennetts in Moscow

The appearance of Stalin on the wall of an Orthodox church seems surprising at first. However, if we reflect a little, we will see that it is far from being an isolated incident. The Communist takeover of the church hierarchy and organised religion has been carried out during the first few years of dictatorship in each of Communist countries.

Those who believe otherwise, have been indulging too much in fairy tales. Communists themselves pretended to have been unable to control the church in some countries, notably in Poland, which is utter nonsense. The Polish pope John Paul II invited the Red Army Choir to the Vatican for celebrations of the 26th anniversary of his pontificate in 2004. The video from the Choir’s performance can be viewed on Youtube. The last song performed that October evening was “Oka”, the anthem of the Communist-controlled Polish forces formed in the Soviet Union in 1943.

The church in Communist hands is an excellent tool of intelligence.

Putin going to church does not signify the triumph of religion. Quite the opposite. It represents the triumph and confidence of Communist intelligence.



Pugachev and Putin are voices of one Soviet choir

Short comment on The inside story of how Putin and his KGB cronies took control of Russia, an article by Catherine Belton in the Sunday Times, March 29, 2020, which is based on her book Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West.

Let me quote first:

In the rush to help install Putin, though, Pugachev had ignored warnings that appointing someone from the KGB was “to enter a vicious circle”.

Those who believed they were working to introduce a free market and democracy had underestimated the enduring power of the security men.

“This is the tragedy of Russia,” said Pugachev.

Pugachev comes from a Soviet military family. There is not much difference between the KGB and the Soviet military. This quote shows that Pugachev tries to present a false narrative. He got to a very good start in the 1990s because he is coming from the inner circles of the Soviet power.



“I can see the whole room”

Comment on Marc Bennetts’ article ‘Putin’s chef’ to sue woman who accused him of attempted murder in The Times, April 12, 2020.

This does not sound true. The story is a product intended for western consumption, not an authentic representation of reality.

You need to understand that neither the earlier Communist Russia, nor today’s Communist Russia operate on principles indicated in the article.

Lawsuits? Conflicting stories in media outlets? Courts and media outlets belong to one and the same class, the Communist class. Those, who appear in them have already been pre-approved as participants of the narrative. Open conflicts? Only to deceive outsiders. Corruption is a fake story for western consumption. Some corruption? Ok, but not as the dominant problem. No one appears in the media, unless it is approved by the Guardians of the Narrative.

I am very well familiar with similar fake stories from Poland. On the surface they might ring true. Only on the surface. When you start checking their internal consistency, it quickly turns out that a lot of things simply do not make sense.

This article, like many, many others, reminds me of the Roy Lichtenstein’s picture, in which a man looking through a peephole into a dark room, declares “I can see the whole room/ …and there is nobody in it!”



Truwoman show

Comment on The Countess and the Russian Billionaire review — the 1 per centers who went peak Jeremy Kyle in The Times by Carol Midgley, April 9, 2020

If information available on the Internet is true, Sergei Pugachev comes from a Soviet military family. A career like his would be absolutely impossible without the full support of the Soviet/Russian inner power circle. The 1990s were presented to the outside world as some kind of a Russian ‘wild west’ rush. However, you ought to keep in mind that we are talking about a country where everyone and everything was subordinated to the Communist power collective through decades of terror. Such deep structures of utmost loyalty and fear do not mysteriously disappear.

The private ownership introduced in the 1990s was not so private. Big money was handled by trusted insiders. Private ownership in Russia is not the same as private ownership in the West.

Look at some of the guys who made big careers in Russian business post-1990. There is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, member of Komsomol, the youth organisation of the Communist party. Then there is William Felix Browder, grandson of Earl Browder, the general secretary of Communist Party USA. Both have spectacularly fallen out with the Russian state. However, they would have no chance to achieve anything in the first place, had they not belonged to the inner circle of the most trusted comrades.

It is more likely that these lawsuits and spectacular rows between Putin-led state and the so-called oligarchs are merely a spectacle, a diversion. The aims of the contemporary Russian state vis-a-vis the West are pretty much the same as the aims of the Soviet Union. Russian goals are long-term and the presence of Russian rich functionaries in the West allows to survey, gather information and exert influence without arising suspicion.

Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of two UK newspapers, is a son of a KGB functionary. Some in the British elites see nothing improper to be employed by him or to fly to his parties in Italy:

‘In a brief entry of ministerial interests on the Foreign Office website, Johnson declared he had an “overnight stay” with Lebedev on 28 April, travelling “accompanied by a spouse, family member or friend”.

Johnson did not give any further details of where he had been, who he was with or the reason for the visit – reportedly his fourth to Lebedev’s Italian home in recent years.’

This was 2018. The quote is from article in the Guardian.

They have successfully infiltrated western elites.

And it is in this context that the story shown in the documentary plays out. Alexandra Tolstoy was most likely honey-trapped in a planned operation. The humiliation she was subjected to on the Russian tv show was most likely planned as well.

Open quarrels and lawsuits between so-called oligarchs and the Russian state are most likely only spectacles for western consumption. Everyone knows that there is no life outside the power circle. You either belong, tooth and nail, or you are eliminated. These so-called oligarchs know this perfectly well. They are also not stupid to suddenly start thinking that they can rewrite the code of the Russian state, the code that has been shaped and hardened over decades of terror.


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