No, Polish farmers did not shout 'you sold us out for Ukraine' during protest

By: Emmi Kivi
February 2 2024

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No, Polish farmers did not shout 'you sold us out for Ukraine' during protest

(Source: Facebook/X)


The Verdict Misleading

The protesters did not shout, “You sold us out for Ukraine.” Ukraine was not mentioned in the video.

Claim ID 2776956e

What is the claim?

For months, farmers’ protests have been sweeping across Europe, including Germany, France, Greece, and Poland, due to climate policies and extreme weather, increasing prices, and cheap imports hampering their livelihoods. 

Social media users shared a video of a Polish farmers’ protest, with the claim, “Polish farmers rebel shouting you sold us out for Ukraine.” The video shows the protestors shouting and throwing stuff on stage during a panel discussion. The post caption continues, “The new Polish Prime Minister is former President of The European Commission Donald Tusk, Brexiters will understand exactly what he stands for, welcome to The Hunger Games Poland!”

Logically Facts discovered the footage was captured from a Polish farmers’ protest in March 2023; the protesters did not shout, “You sold us out for Ukraine.” Ukraine is not mentioned in the video. 

What did we find?

A reverse image search of some of the keyframes of the footage led us to an article headlined, “Minister of Agriculture Henryk Kowalczyk pelted with eggs during his speech in Jasionka. There were shouts of “Judas,” published in March 2023 by TVN24, a Polish media corporation. 

The article disclosed that the footage shows protesters disrupting the speech of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Henryk Kowalczyk during the 5th European Agricultural Forum on March 22, 2023 (translated from Polish). It was not the first time farmers disrupted an event attended by Kowalczyk. According to the article, the protesters also threw eggs at the minister. 

Image on the left shows the viral video and the image on the right was captured from the TVN24 article,
 published March 2023. Source: Facebook/TVN24/Modified by Logically Facts

With these added clues, we found a six-minute YouTube video with more extended footage of the event. In the video, the protesters shout “Judas” and “traitors” and continue to proclaim how Minister Kowalczyk had betrayed the Polish farmers (translated from Polish). After viewing the footage, the phrase “You sold us out for Ukraine” was not shouted in the videos. Neither was Ukraine mentioned. 

At the time, as reported by Business Insider, Polish farmers protested against the flooding of Ukrainian grain on Polish markers, the decline in grain prices, and the political decisions made by the Law and Justice government, including its Minister of Agriculture. 

The former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, was appointed the Prime Minister of Poland in December 2023 after the October parliamentary election. Polish farmers have continued to protest against the inflows of Ukrainian imports. In January, the Polish farmers ended their blockade of a Poland–Ukraine border crossing after reaching an agreement over financial compensation with the government. The new deal did not include restrictions on Ukraine imports.

The Verdict

The footage shows Polish farmers protesting during the 5th European Agricultural Forum in March 2023. The protesters shouted “Judas” and exclaimed feelings of betrayal against the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the government’s agricultural policies. The protesters did not say, “You sold us out for Ukraine,” nor was Ukraine mentioned in the viral clip or the more extended footage of the event. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.

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