Polish police officers detained Ukrainian journalist Mykhailo Tkach along with his cameraman near the Polish-Belarusian border and reportedly partially removed some of his filmed materials when he was in the process of filming an expose about ongoing agricultural trade between PolandBelarus, and Russia.

“Near the border of Poland and Belarus, Polish police came to us and showed us a badge. We showed our documents and press cards. They started grabbing our cameras and searching... Then, we were brought to the commandant's office,” the Ukrainska Pravda journalist is quoted saying in a story published by the newspaper.

Tkach reported that they were held in police custody for four hours and only let go after the intervention of Ukraine’s Ambassador to Poland, Vasyl Zvarych.

Advertisement

“After the memory cards were returned to the journalists, it became known that some of the filmed materials had been deleted,” Ukrainska Pravda reports. “In addition, the Ukrainians were asked whether they would tell publicly that they were detained.”

Polish media also quoted the spokesman of the Lublinsky District Police, Andrzej Fiyolka, who confirmed the incident and reported that “police were notified by residents of Lukov, who for two days saw in this district men with drones.”

According to Fiyolka, the journalists were taken to the police station for identification. When Fiyolka was asked by Polish journalists about the alleged removal of the private video recordings, he said that he could not confirm the information.

Belarus Sentences German Man to Death for 'Mercenary Activity'
Other Topics of Interest

Belarus Sentences German Man to Death for 'Mercenary Activity'

Belarus remains one of the few European countries to have death penalties, and a human rights group said this was the first time someone has been tried for mercenary activity in Belarus.

“During the interrogation at the commandant's office, I said we were journalists. I said that we were filming Poland trading with Russia through Belarus,” Tkach said.

Tkach’s story happens at a time Polish protesters have been blocking Ukrainian grain imports to the European Union, saying that new competition from Ukraine is hurting their profits.

A group of Polish protesters, some carrying anti-Ukrainian slogans, even dumped massive amounts of Ukrainian grain on the side of the highway – this, while Russian grain and foodstuffs is reportedly still entering the EU.

Advertisement

Tkach said that he and the cameraman were interrogated both by Polish police and by the Polish Special Service.

Police from the Podlaskie Voivodeship posted on the X social network that they did not detain the Ukrainian journalists.

Around the same time, police from the Lublin Voivodeship stated that they took measures to establish the identity of persons in the border area that alarmed residents.

“After verifying the identity of the person, they left the police unit,” the X statement reads.

Sevgil Musaeva, the Ukrainska Pravda chief editor wrote on Facebook simply, “Polish police are lying. And we will prove it.”

“Currently, UP journalists are communicating with lawyers,” the Ukrainska Pravda article says.

Zvarych, in a comment to Wirtualna Polska, acknowledged that he intervened on behalf of the journalists.

“They filmed traffic on the railway and launched a drone. Police decided to check whether they were provocateurs. The matter was resolved quickly,” Zvarych told Polish reporters.

Advertisement
To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter