Summary of the Buffer Zone on the Polish-Belarusian Border: First Three Weeks

Press Conference in Dubicze Cerkiewne

On Friday, July 5, a press conference summarizing the operation of the buffer zone on the border with Belarus was held in Dubicze Cerkiewne. The event was attended by the Podlaskie Voivode Jacek Brzozowski, the spokesperson for the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Jacek Dobrzyński, and representatives of the Border Guard, Police, and Polish Armed Forces.

Buffer Zone Overview

More than three weeks ago, a buffer zone was introduced. Today, we want to present to all Poles how this zone has functioned so far, how it operates, and how it will continue to operate

– said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Jacek Dobrzyński.

He also emphasized that the state is making every effort to ensure that the border with Belarus is safe. He invited tourists to visit Podlasie and support local businesses.

The border is safe, Podlasie is safe, Poland is safe. It is worth visiting here. The residents of the region are waiting for the support of compatriots. It is really calm here

– he encouraged.

Consultations and Local Engagement

Podlaskie Voivode Jacek Brzozowski recalled that the introduction of the buffer zone was preceded by public consultations held on June 5 and 6 at the Podlaskie Voivodeship Office. Discussions were also held with local government officials, representatives of local businesses, and the Białowieża National Park. The Polish Academy of Sciences and the research station in Białowieża also participated in these talks.

The voivode also informed that from the perspective of residents and local government officials, the buffer zone does not interfere with daily life, as it bypasses towns and tourist routes.

Thanks to the efforts of the Border Guard, Police, Army, and other institutions responsible for border security, the Podlaskie Voivodeship is safe

– he emphasized.

Border Guard Activities

Major Katarzyna Zdanowicz, spokesperson for the Podlaskie Border Guard, reported that after the introduction of the buffer zone, the number of illegal border crossing attempts from Belarus has decreased.

During the buffer zone’s operation, the Border Guard recorded 1,700 such attempts. In comparison, three weeks before the introduction of these restrictions, there were 3,900 attempts.

It is clearly a decrease of over 50%

– she argued.

Major Zdanowicz also noted that the number of organizers of illegal border crossings has decreased. Since the beginning of the buffer zone’s operation, fourteen people involved in this activity have been arrested. She also reported that since June 13, 68 permits for access to the zone have been issued, 51 of which were for the media.

The spokesperson also referred to the strengthening of the barrier on the Polish-Belarusian border. She informed that on Friday, July 5, an agreement was signed for the modernization of the electronic barrier.

More information on this topic is available on the Border Guard website – link.

Police Involvement

Meanwhile, Sub-commissioner Marta Rodzik from the Police reported that 361 officers are currently operating in the Podlaskie Voivodeship near the Belarusian border. These officers are primarily from the prevention unit but also from traffic control. Since the beginning of the Police’s operations on the border, nearly 1,700 officers have been on duty. The Police have also conducted 64 training sessions involving Border Guard officers and soldiers, focusing on unit operations.

Police officers have intervened 38 times directly at the border strip, including 10 times since the buffer zone was introduced. So far, 10 police vehicles have been damaged, including 2 since the buffer zone’s introduction. No police officers have been injured. This week, there was only one police intervention supporting the Border Guard and the army.

The number of interventions involving police officers is steadily decreasing

– said Sub-commissioner Marta Rodzik.

Support from the Polish Army

Major Magdalena Kosińska from the Military Task Force presented information about the involvement of Polish soldiers.

Since the beginning of the crisis, soldiers have been participating in operations on the border with Belarus. Currently, 6,000 soldiers are on duty here. Over 11,000 foot patrols and nearly 3,000 mobile patrols have been carried out. The Army also has rapid response teams ready to provide support to the Border Guard and Police at any moment. Soldiers from the Military Police and special units are also involved in these operations.

Our actions are aimed at ensuring the region’s safety

– summarized Major Magdalena Kosińska.