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Protests at the border between Poland and Belarus

Illustration: #ZhenyaOliynyk


Many European entrepreneurs continue to supply goods to Russia and Belarus despite the unprecedented EU sanctions against these countries. To draw attention to this problem, Ukrainian, Polish, and Belarusian opposition activists began to block the passage of trucks at the Kukuryki—Kazlovichi checkpoint on the Polish—Belarusian border in March 2022. This transport usually transits through the territory of Belarus to Russia.

Trucks formed a queue of more than 50 kilometers as a result of the protests. It continued for several days after the end of the week-long actions. Up to 400 people went to the protests per day in total and managed to block one checkpoint.

The Polish police initially tried to push back the protesters (although they supported Ukraine), but after the Polish Prime Minister supported the protests and obtained permission for peaceful action, the law enforcement officers did not interfere. Truck drivers reacted differently: The Russians responded aggressively to the protesters, while the Belarusians tried to negotiate. The only trucks allowed by the activists were those carrying animals because they were not guilty of anything.

Ukrainian and Polish business people helped the protesters: they brought tents, food, and drinks and fed them hot soup. The atmosphere of this protest often reminded Ukrainians of the Revolution of Dignity because people supported each other there.

The main goal of the protests at the border was to strengthen sanctions against Russia, which invaded the territory of Ukraine and started the genocide of the Ukrainian population. Any business on the territory of Russia means financing weapons that later kill tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainians, and the Russian army that occupies cities, tortures, and rapes civilians, violates all norms of international law.


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