As part of the investigation of the news agency Guildhall news agency, it was found that Polish carriers who blocked checkpoints on the Polish-Ukrainian border, demanding “fair competition,” interacted with persons with ties to the Russian Federation. Russian influence was also established in similar events in Slovakia.
Thus, the official organizer of the blockade of the border between Poland and Ukraine is Polish citizen Rafal Mekler, owner of the transport company Rafał Mekler Transport. Rafał Makler is a representative of the branch of the pro-Russian party “Confederation of Freedom and Independence” in Lublin Voivodeship, which has close ties to Russia. In particular, the party leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke called for the recognition of the occupation of Crimea and himself visited the annexed peninsula himself in 2015, where he met with the head of the Russian occupation administration of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov.
The Confederation of Freedom and Independence is affiliated with another Polish right-wing radical organization, All-Polish Youth, which, among other things, has long-standing ties to the Russian imperial movement that recruited terrorists for the DPR and LPR groups. The leader of the list of the Confederation of Freedom and Independence in the 2023 Polish Sejm election campaign, Zemowit Przebitkowski, is is the former leader of the of the All-Polish Youth Movement.
The Confederation of Freedom and Independence and the All-Polish Youth organize joint events.
The current action on the Polish-Ukrainian border is not the first episode of Polish carriers’ participation in campaigns that have signs of Russia’s active measures. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rafał Mekler Transport and a number of other Polish companies involved in the current protests, including Kam-Trans, Jata-Trans, BOR-TOM, GLT POLSKA, KMS Logistika and PEO-Trans, have repeatedly held rallies demanding the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions.
Political influence on events in Poland deserves special attention. On November 16, the organizers of the action and the co-founder of the aforementioned party “Confederation of Freedom and Independence”, which is affiliated with the Russian Federation, and the leader of the “Confederation of the Polish Crown” Grzegorz Brown met at the Polish checkpoint “Korczowa”.
At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Grzegorz Braun was the only member of the Polish Sejm who voted against the resolution condemning Poland, adopted after the events in Bucha were made public. He systematically opposes the presence of Ukrainian migrants in Poland and is the author of the slogan “Stop the Ukrainization of Poland.”
In 2018, Grzegorz Braun met in Moscow with Leonid Sviridov, a journalist for Rossiya Segodnya who was deported from Poland for spying for Russia.
Like the Confederation of Freedom and Independence, Grzegorz Brown personally participates in events with the aforementioned organization All-Polish Youth. This organization also has ties to the paramilitary right-wing radical group Zadrużny Krąg (Zadrużny Krąg – Dywizja Słowiańska), which is collaborating with the neo-Nazi group Rusov, which is currently fighting in the Russian army.
Another participant in the action on the Polish-Ukrainian border, the owner of the aforementioned company PEO-Trans, a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, is Viktor Stepanovich Gordeyuk. Analysis of Hordeyuk’s pages in social networks allows us to establish that he is studying at one of the higher military educational institutions in Belarus. Viktor Hordeyuk’s brother, Andrey Hordeyuk, serves in the 38th separate airborne assault brigade of the Belarusian army.
The campaign in Slovakia was organized by representatives of the Union of Road Carriers of Slovakia (UNAS). The action was supported by the anti-European right-wing radical party Our Slovakia, which advocates for the “restoration of friendly ties” with Russia, whose leader, Slovak politician Marian Kotleba, in 2014 wrote a letter to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, comparing the Revolution of Dignity to terrorism.