Ukrainian Journalists Detained in Poland While Investigating Trade with Russia

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.13 - 2024 2:14 PM CET

Photo: Bumble Dee /
Photo: Bumble Dee /
Two Ukrainian journalists investigating Poland's trade with Russia were detained, had their equipment confiscated, and were deported.

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Two journalists from the Ukrainian news agency were detained in Poland as they investigated the country's trade relations with Russia. Editor Yuriy Konkevych and videographer Oleksandr Pilyuk were apprehended on March 7 while documenting truck movements across the border between Russia's Kaliningrad region and Poland.

Konkiewicz described their mission: "Raion. Zakordon went to the north of Poland, to the border with the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation, to see how gas and grain from Russia still go through Poland to Europe. We didn't meet any roadblocks of Polish farmers there, instead we saw Russian Railways cars - Russian Railway."

"The Polish police detained us and confiscated our property, did not notify the consul, did not give us the opportunity to call Ukraine, and the Internal Security Agency called us persons who threaten the national security of Poland and deported us," he added.

The detention occurred in Branevo city at about 1:10 p.m. local time.

"The reason for the detention was that the journalists spent too much time photographing critical infrastructure, namely Russian liquefied gas wagons," the agency stated.

During their detainment, police searched their car without consent, confiscating editorial equipment and personal items, including laptops, microphones, cameras, and smartphones.

On March 9, the journalists were escorted to the Dorogusk-Yagodin checkpoint and banned from entering Schengen zone countries for five years. stated that the journalists were on an editorial assignment to investigate cargo transportation between Poland and Russia, aiming to document the flow of goods and determine the nationality of the transporting vehicles. They also sought to interview eyewitnesses and experts to gauge the trade's extent.

The news agency has called on Ukrainian and Polish state authorities to address the incident and is appealing to international journalistic organizations for support, "because such a reaction of Polish law enforcement officers threatens freedom of speech not only in relation to Ukrainian journalists."

They also demand the return of the confiscated property, crucial for the agency's operations.

This incident echoes a previous situation involving Ukrainian Pravda journalists near the Polish-Belarusian border, which was resolved only after significant public attention and support from the Ukrainian embassy in Poland. Polish police initially denied detaining the journalists but later acknowledged the action, explaining it was in response to a report from a concerned resident about suspicious activities near railway tracks.

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