- Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow & Stanislas Balcerac, Warsaw

On Tuesday March 15, the leaders of Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia met the Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky (lead image, right), in a room.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, together with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and their Slovene counterpart Janez Jansa insist in unison that their meeting room was located in Kiev; that they got there by taking a 7-hour train ride from the Polish railway station of Przemysl, and that they returned the same way after 24 hours.

In yesterday’s report  we presented the evidence available at the time to indicate there was no geolocational evidence that the room was in Kiev, and that the summit meeting took place there. This account is being disputed by some sources; corroborated by others. A Warsaw government source who reviewed yesterday’s report comments: “we will probably never know the truth.”

According to another Polish source, “no head of the Polish security detail would allow the PM and the Deputy PM to travel together to a theatre of military operations. Especially after the close encounters in Georgia in 2008 when [President Lech]  Kaczynski blamed the Russian Army for shooting at him.   And if the head of the SOP [Polish State Protection Service, Służba Ochrony Państwa], allowed it, he should be fired.”

Follow the forensic debate over what happened and where in Naked Capitalism here.  

The only evidence of the meeting and its location so far made public has come from Zelensky’s press office and the offices of the chief Polish ministers.  Czech prime minister Fiala has published a tweet image of himself in a sleeping car on the train, but the carriage in which he appears is not the same train as the one which the Poles have published.  Slovenian prime minister Jansa has published nothing of himself except for the group photographs originating from the Polish and Ukrainian governments.

Czech prime minister Fiala. Source: https://tvn24.pl
 The photograph caption is: “Petr Fiala on his way to Poland”. 

No European or Anglo-American newspaper or broadcaster has reported the summit meeting on the spot. Their reporters in Warsaw, Berlin, and elsewhere have repeated the Polish and Ukrainian claims without direct and independent verification.

On the photographic and other materials available through Wednesday, we reported there was no evidence that the meeting of the four leaders had taken place in Kiev. Moreover, evidence was presented to indicate that the locational data which had been published pinpointed Polish territory as the site of the meeting, the press briefing, and the train station.

Dozens of open-source analysts and commenters have spent the past 24 hours searching for fresh location evidence to prove Morawiecki and Zelensky wrong, as we originally reported; or us wrong for our interpretation.  As this second report is published, no new evidence has been found to identify with reliability the locations of what took place in Kiev, nor indeed is there a verifiable image of the summit group anywhere in the Ukraine along the 670 kilometre train track which the heads of government say they took over more than fourteen hours between March 15 and 16.

That goes for the train, train station, press briefing, and meeting room, as well as details of walls, floors, tables, furniture, windows, curtains, bottles of water, costumes, helmets, and body armour. The heads of government also appear to have spent the two days of their traveling,  meeting and presenting themselves to the press without a change of clothes.  

One Naked Capitalism reader identifying himself as JHG has uncovered two Ukrainian government records of meetings Zelensky had held with US politicians on September 5 and December 24, 2021. The first session was face to face; the second a virtual video conference. The published images appear to match the room in this week’s media reports.

JHG has written: “I am having some trouble with some of Mr. Helmer’s video evidence that this meeting took place in Poland instead of Kyiv Ukraine.  Specifically the ‘Situation Room’ that Mr. Helmer asserts is actually in Poland. There are other photographs available of that room showing President Zelensky and his staff in video conferences at different times.  This set of photos is on a page of the official website of the President of Ukraine. The date is 16 March 2021 [an error – the date is September 6, 2021] and it shows a video conference with members of the US Congress and the Senate. This conference room looks identical to the room presented by Mr. Helmer. Granted this source is the official website of the President but the date is the previous year. The photos are all expandable and show the room from a variety of angles.

Source: https://president.gov.ua/
An alert reader has identified the seats in the room as aluminium chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1958, and available for purchase at about €4,000 apiece  from this source.   Until now the source says this type of chair has not been seen  in Zelensky’s office furniture.

“The next set is from a Ukrainian News Website called Ukrinform. Once again it is a Ukrainian source but the date is 25 December 2021 and shows a video conference with another group of US politicians. 

Source: https://www.ukrinform.net/

“There is also a photo of this meeting on Twitter dated 24 Dec 2021 uploaded by a Ukrainian Government official at another angle.”

Source: https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa/

In this week’s meeting room (above),  there is only one flag on display – the national Ukrainian flag. In the two meetings with the Americans, Zelensky displayed two -- the national flag and also the tryzub flag of several Ukrainian fascist organizations, including the Galician Division of the German SS, the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists, and in modified form, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the fascist organization which assisted the German Army in the liquidation of Poles, Jews,  and Russians.   

“The room in the above photos match very well with Mr. Helmer’s photos from the style of chairs, the video monitors on the wall, the flags and the Ukrainian ‘symbol’ on the wall. The arrangement of the tables. Even the shapes of the water bottles.”

“Given the dates when these photos were alleged to have been taken it would seem to me that this is an actual government conference room that Mr Zelensky and his staff use for video conferences and it would seem unlikely to me that Mr Zelensky would have to travel to Poland to have video conferences with US politicians. I would also submit that this room is in the Ukraine and not Poland. I am aware that these are all Ukrainian sources and I am not an expert in photogrammetry. Perhaps I am reading this completely wrong. I am only looking at the dates of the photos or when the web pages were published and that this room look identical to the room in Mr. Helmer’s article.”


Source: Instagram account of Prime Minister Morawiecki

Source: Polish television TVN24

Comparing the top picture with the bottom row, the costumes of the leaders appear to be the same. However, the shadow cast by the sunlight – reportedly morning – is different. Morawiecki said in his accompanying text: “Passengers of the line Warsaw-Kiev with the brave crew of the train. Thank you very much for the journey together and its happy ending.” /  This has been interpreted to mean he was describing the end of the train journey and the return of his delegation from Kiev. Morawiecki’s  reference to the “Warsaw-Kiev line” is mistaken.  

Accompanying the video footage at the train station, TVN24 reported: “The Polish, Czech Republic and Slovenian delegations have reached Polish territory safely, government spokesman Piotr Mueller confirmed. The train from Kiev came to Przemysl…They reached the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday by train. The visit was kept secret until the very end. Its aim was, among other things, to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people. On Wednesday morning, government spokesman Piotr Mueller said delegations of Polish, Slovenian and the Czech officials had ‘returned safely’ to Poland.  Before 10.30 a.m., the heads of government arrived in Przemyśl in the Podkarpacie region.” TVN24 is a US-owned commercial news channel in Poland with a strong pro-Europe orientation; it is critical of the Morawiecki-Kaczynski policies.


Source: https://tvn24.pl/ 
In other frames of this clip, Polish flag patches are visible on the jacket sleeves of those in the picture.

Inside the meeting with Zelensky, front row, Morawiecki, Kaczynski, Polish government translator, and Piotr Muller  press spokesman for the Polish prime ministry.  At rear, Polish ambassador to the Ukraine, Bartosz Cichocki. 

TVN24  reported this 22-second clip as evidence of Kiev. “Mateusz Morawiecki met in Kiev with the Polish ambassador Bartosz Cichocki and other embassy employees. In an interview with them, he emphasized that in this way they are sending a signal that ‘Kiev and Ukraine will survive.’ He estimated that in the face of other diplomats leaving the capital, Cichocki and his associates are ‘a living symbol of Polish solidarity.’ Helmets and vests have been confirmed as Polish Army issue.

Cichocki sat behind Morawiecki during the meeting with Zelensky; he is visible in the picture under the videoscreen. It is unclear why he expressed his thanks outside in the dark when the same photo opportunity might have been more visible inside the building.


Another meeting room during the summit, left to right: Kaczynski, Morawiecki, Jansa,  Denis  Smyhal, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, and Fiala. The parquetry pattern on the floor, the curtains, and the frames for the heating batteries are not matched in any other interior published. Note the sandbags on the right of the window frame. Source: https://twitter.com/


Source: https://www.se.pl/

Super Express, a Polish tabloid owned by the ZPR group,  is one of the few sources for an account of how the operation started. The newspaper appears to have been briefed by Kaczynski’s office.  “Politicians are planning a meeting with the Ukrainian authorities. Such a train trip during the war can be very dangerous. The train crossed the Polish border before 8 am. Now it should be getting closer to its goal. The train goes according to the observed safety rules. The possibility of getting to the Kiev station was thoroughly checked beforehand. The visit to war-torn Ukraine was to be initiated and prepared for several days by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński. Apparently, the latter did not have to be talked into such a risky trip for a long time.”  

“Without hesitation Kaczynski decided to travel to Kiev explaining that this is a civilizational issue for Europe and its future. Just as he was on the Maidan in 2013, now he wanted to be in Kiev. Morawiecki and Kaczyński are accompanied on the delegation by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša. As a delegation of the European Council, they are to meet with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.”

Leave a Reply