On July 21st, 2022, the Russian-language Facebook page “Я люблю Санкт-Петербург” published a post stating that in order to receive an identification number (PESEL), Ukrainian refugees in Poland must recognize Stepan Bandera as a terrorist and agree with the claim that Ukrainian nationalists are guilty of the Volyn massacre. Attached to the post is a sample of the registration form, which shows that, along with personal data, there are questions related to the above-mentioned two issues:
- Do you think that Stepan Bandera is a terrorist? Yes/No
- I recognize the responsibility of Ukrainian nationalists for the killing of Poles in the Volyn massacre. Yes/No
The claim that Ukrainian refugees in Poland have to sign a statement noting that Stepan Bandera is a terrorist and Ukrainian nationalists are responsible for the Volyn massacre to get an identification number is false.
The document published by Я люблю Санкт-Петербург is fabricated, while the authentic version of the document is available on the official website of the Polish government. The authentic version of the questionnaire includes no questions related to Bandera and the Volyn massacre.
On March 26th, 2022, the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, signed an amendment to the law “On the assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that state.” The law defines the principles of legalization of the stay of Ukrainian citizens in Poland. According to the law, Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine as a result of Russian aggression can legally stay in Poland for 18 months and can obtain an identification number (PESEL), which grants them access to the Polish labour market. Ukrainians have the opportunity to start a business on the territory of Poland and engage in business activities under the same rules as Polish citizens. In addition, they can receive social and financial assistance. They have access to the state healthcare system under the same rules as Polish citizens.
In order to receive an identification number, Ukrainian refugees must fill out a questionnaire, which is available on the official website of the Polish government, in a section specially designated for Ukrainians. In the official version, it is not mentioned anywhere that to receive PESEL, Ukrainians need to recognize Stepan Bandera as a terrorist or agree to the statement that Ukrainian nationalists are responsible for the Volyn massacre.
The questions in the questionnaire are related to the personal data of the person receiving PESEL and his/her family members. The document published by the Facebook page Я люблю Санкт-Петербург, combines excerpts from two different pages and features added questions related to the Bandera and Volyn massacres.
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