The Rise and Fall of a Polish Agent of the Kremlin Influence: The Case of Janusz Niedźwiecki


The Berlin-based European Platform for Democratic Elections* has published a new research report written by director of the Centre for Democratic Integrity Anton Shekhovtsov. The report looks into the activities of Janusz Niedźwiecki, a Polish national arrested in Poland in May 2021 and charged with collaboration with Russian secret services.

Right after Niedźwiecki’s arrest, the Western regressive Left called Niedźwiecki a “peace activist”; Alexander Lukashenka’s authoritarian regime in Belarus described him as a “journalist” and “civic activist”; and Russian pro-Kremlin media called Niedźwiecki “a renowned human rights advocate”.

Refuting these false portrayals, this report traces Niedźwiecki’s development from a fringe political activist, through a coordinator of fake election observation missions and facilitator of international contacts of Ukrainian pro-Russian politicians, to an agent of malign Russian influence.

Simultaneously, by focusing on the figure of Niedźwiecki, the report reveals a part of the vast network of Kremlin and other authoritarian influences operating in Europe and elsewhere.

Read the report on the website of the European Platform for Democratic Elections or, if the EPDE website appears to be blocked in your country (which is the case of Russia, for example, that considers the EPDE an “undesirable organisation”), then read the report on the Academia website.


* The aim of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) is to assist citizen election observation in the Eastern Partnership countries and in the Russian Federation, and to contribute to democratic election processes throughout Europe.