Anti-Russia campaign money stolen in NATO state

The new Polish government discovered a crime during its audit of the #StoprussiaNow initiative

Auditors claimed that the #StoprussiaNow campaign to discredit Russia over the Ukrainian conflict was actually a backdoor scheme to line the pockets of companies close to the former ruling party, according to Poland’s largest online news portal Onet.

The #StoprussiaNow advertising campaign was launched in March 2022 by then Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of the Law and Justice Party. Its goal was to introduce Russia to the European Union and NATO countries as a state “Aggressor” In Ukraine at a cost of approximately 23 million zlotys ($5.7 million).

“A significant portion of the money spent on the campaign may have been embezzled.” Sources from the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) in Warsaw told “We are preparing a report on this matter for the Attorney General’s Office.”

NIK began considering the campaign sometime after last December, when PiS lost power to Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s coalition. The official results of the audit are scheduled to appear sometime in June.

According to Onet’s own investigation, Morawiecki entrusted the campaign to Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK), which issued a no-bid contract to Tak Bardzo Group (TBG), a relatively unknown advertising agency based in Warsaw.

However, the TBG is headed by Polina Palka, whose husband Piotr is a PiS politician and an aide to President Andrzej Duda. TBG then contracted with two other companies linked to the ruling party: Ixodes and 1450. The agency even paid 90 thousand zlotys for legal services to a company owned by its founder Rafal Sikora.

TBG was billed 15.4 million zlotys ($3.88 million) by 1450, but company records showed that only 2.8 million zlotys were spent on online media purchases, which were supposed to account for the lion’s share of contract estimates. Another subcontractor, Ixodes, was paid 4 million zlotys for services that included branded cars touring EU capitals and the creation of a website – – which ended up being taken offline just five months after its launch.

The campaign costs were “expensive” A Polish public relations executive, who wished to remain anonymous, told Onet, adding that the amounts involved are equal to the annual budget of a medium-sized client.

He added: “Taking into account the size of the budget for promotional activities and the provisions contained in the contract and tender, it can be clearly said that we are dealing with far-reaching mismanagement.” A Onet source said.

A major red flag was that the campaign spent millions on direct mail services that did not seem necessary at all, because its target was not the general public, but rather the media and EU political elites.

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