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Polish farmer protesting Ukraine imports faces charges over pro-Putin banner

A Polish farmer showcased a banner reading “Putin, bring order to Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers” during farmers’ protests against Ukrainian exports to Poland, facing charges of promoting totalitarianism and inciting hatred.
Sign reading “Putin, bring order to with Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers” at farmers’ protest in Gorzyczki, Silesia, Poland. The tractor also features the Soviet Union flag. Photo: Grzegorz Celejewski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl
Polish farmer protesting Ukraine imports faces charges over pro-Putin banner

During the February 20 protests on the border with Ukraine, a Polish farmer placed a sign on his tractor, reading “Putin, bring order to with Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers.” The Polish police announced on X/Twitter that they had initiated an investigation into the incident.

The farmers’ protest took place across Poland on 20 February. They demanded the rejection of the European Green Deal and sealing borders against the backdrop of an influx of agri-food goods from Ukraine. As part of the protest, they blocked streets, as well as all Ukrainian border crossings, de facto suspending Ukrainian imports and exports across Poland. 

Polish farmers block Ukraine border, spill grain, as Ukrainian truckers protest against blockade

At the A1 highway exit in Gorzyczki, farmers also appeared with about 100 tractors blocking the route. On one of them displayed the flag of the USSR and a banner with the inscription: “Putin, make order with (or ‘bring order to’ or ‘sort it out with,’ – Ed.) Ukraine and Brussels, and with our rulers.”

“The immediate response of [the Polish Police] to the display of outrageous slogans during the farmers’ protest in the Wodzislaw district. Police and prosecutors are carrying out actions in the direction of article 256 § 1 of the [Criminal Code],” the police’s report reads.

Sign reading “Putin, bring order to with Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers” at farmers’ protest in Gorzyczki, Silesia, Poland. Photo: Grzegorz Celejewski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl

While police have not clarified if the farmer was arrested, he now faces charges under Article 256 of Poland’s Criminal Code for publicly promoting a totalitarian system and inciting hatred during a public protest. Convictions can carry fines or up to 2 years imprisonment. The incident remains under active investigation.

“Whoever publicly promotes a fascist or other totalitarian system of state or incites hatred based on national, ethnic, race or religious differences or for reason of lack of any religious denomination shall be subject to a fine, the penalty of restriction of liberty or the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 2 years,” the relevant paragraph of the Polish Criminal code reads.

Polish Interior Minister Marcin Kierwiński confirmed on X that the scandalous banner, a photo of which circulated the web, was immediately removed and secured by the Polish Police. 

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