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Reporters Without Borders condemns detention of Ukrainian journalists in Poland

Ukrainian journalist Mykhailo Tkach detained by Polish police. Source: Ukrainska Pravda
Reporters Without Borders condemns detention of Ukrainian journalists in Poland

Reporters Without Borders, the international organization that protects freedom of speech and information rights, has condemned the detainment of a journalist from the Ukrainian media outlet “Ukrainska Pravda” by Polish law enforcement.

On 28 February, Polish officers arrested Mykhailo Tkach and cameraman Yaroslav Bondarenko near the Polish-Belarusian border. The journalist team was recording a segment on the transit of goods between Poland, Russia, and Belarus amid a traffic blockade by Polish farmers with Ukraine.

Since November 2023, Polish truckers have begun blocking truck traffic at three border crossing points with Ukraine. The country’s farmers joined the protest at the Shehyni-Medika checkpoint. After a temporary suspension in January 2024, Polish truckers resumed the blockade. On 9 February, Polish farmers initiated a nationwide strike, reigniting the border blockade, which is expected to continue until at least 10 March.

With the Russian naval blockade rendering Ukrainian sea trade nearly impossible, the Polish border blockades complement the Russian embargo, strangling the Ukrainian economy and disrupting supplies into the nation currently defending against Russian aggression.

“Two journalists from the Ukrainian media, Ukrainska Pravda, were detained for a few hours yesterday by the Polish police while reporting near the Belarusian border.

Their equipment was searched and seized for a few hours. RSF condemns the obstruction of their work,” Reporters Without Border wrote on X.

According to the journalist, they were taken to a border police station and interrogated for at least four hours, not only by the police but also by representatives of the special services. At the station, the Ukrainian journalists were not allowed to contact anyone. Later, Tkach said that their footage had been partially deleted.

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