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Thousands of lorries carrying Russian agricultural products go through Belarus to Poland – Ukrainska Pravda investigation

Thursday, 29 February 2024, 23:49
Thousands of lorries carrying Russian agricultural products go through Belarus to Poland – Ukrainska Pravda investigation
Lorries at the border crossing point between Poland and Belarus. Photo: Ukrainska Pravda

An investigation by Ukrainska Pravda journalist Mykhailo Tkach has revealed how thousands of Polish lorries carrying Russian agricultural products are travelling through Belarus to Poland and back.

Source: an investigation by Mykhailo Tkach 

Details: The Ukrainska Pravda film crew asked a man to call a Polish company and pretend to be the manager of an actual Belarusian company. He explicitly offered to sell Russian rapeseed meal accompanied by Belarusian documents.


The manager of the Polish company asked him to email the terms and conditions.

Yet Poland banned the import of rapeseed meal from Ukraine in September 2023, following protests by farmers. Since then, the volume of products that have continued to arrive from Belarus has been steadily increasing.

Quote from Tkach: "For your information, in the three months since the ban on Ukrainian products, Poland has bought US$8 million worth of rapeseed meal through Belarus."

Details: Near the Kukuryki checkpoint, we counted thousands of lorries that had entered Poland from Belarus without any obstacles. Judging by our conversations with representatives of agricultural firms, Russian agricultural products first go to Belarus, where they are loaded onto Polish-registered lorries at special centres. The lorries then head for large companies in Poland.

One of these centres in Belarus is the Koliadychi terminal of BTLC in Minsk.


Polish sources and data from open and closed databases show that there are at least three companies in Poland that are major buyers of agricultural products from Russia: Bromex, Diaspolis, and Kampol Krzysztof Łużniak.


Dmytro Dienkov, editor of Ekonomichna Pravda, notes that in general, Poland and other EU countries have not been banned from trading with Russia and Belarus, as there are no sanctions that relate specifically to agricultural products.

Quote from Dienkov: "These countries pose a potential threat for Europe, but they still keep trading agricultural goods with them. If we look at the balance of trade between Poland and Russia, the most surprising thing is that their trade turnover is increasing and numbers have risen compared to 2021."


  • On 28 February, Polish law enforcement officers arrested an Ukrainska Pravda film crew consisting of Mykhailo Tkach, head of the investigative journalism department, and videographer Yaroslav Bondarenko, close to the Polish-Belarusian border as they were filming a story about the transit of goods between Poland, Russia and Belarus. Some of the footage was deleted by the Polish authorities.
  • While our colleagues were being detained, the Polish police searched their car, removed the memory cards from their cameras, and took all their phones and documents. 
  • The Podlaskie Voivodeship police posted a brief note on the evening of 27 February to say that they had not "detained a journalist from Ukraine".
  • Later, the police reported that officers had taken measures to identify some individuals whose presence in the border area had caused concern to local residents.

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