Episode 73

POLAND: Sikorski angers Russia & more – 12th Mar 2024

Farmers protest in Warsaw, change to a law about rape, WWII museum in Zakopane, rally to support farmers protest, smugglers at the Belarusian border, climate activists protest, and much more!

Thanks for tuning in!

Let us know what you think and what we can improve on by emailing us at poland@rorshok.com. You can also contact us on Twitter & Instagram @rorshokpoland 

Like what you hear? Subscribe, share, and tell your buds.

We want to get to know you! Please fill in this mini survey:


Wanna avoid ads and help us financially? Follow the link:



Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 12th of March twenty twenty-four. A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s start off with national security. On Friday, the 8th, Radosław Sikorski, the foreign minister, outraged Russia after making a statement in favor of sending NATO troops to Ukraine in the future. Russia threatened that it would respond with all military means if NATO troops were to enter Ukraine.

Sikorski made his statement in support of French President Emmanuel Macron's earlier recommendation to send NATO troops to Ukraine. However, some other NATO countries, including Italy, said they would not support any deployment of forces.

On that note about the military, some EU countries are concerned that if Trump becomes the next US president, the US might not help the EU if a war with Russia broke out. EU members also fear that the US Congress may not agree to send military help for the EU.

Similarly, on Tuesday, the 5th, France and Poland joined their forces to convince the EU to increase its defense spending. The two countries urged the EU to open new industries for high-tech military equipment production capable of deterring Russia.

Speaking of the EU, on Monday, the 11th, President Andrzej Duda announced that Poland would hold European Parliament elections on the 9th of June. The European Parliament has 705 seats, and every five years, European citizens, vote to choose new members of parliament. Poles will vote for candidates for the fifty-three seats reserved for Poland in accordance with the population of the country.

Farmers across the EU continue protesting against the EU's planned changes, or the Green Deal, to limit use of pesticides in the agricultural sector and reduce CO2 emissions. On Wednesday, the 6th, thousands of Polish farmers gathered in Warsaw and staged another protest in front of the Prime Minister's office. Later, they marched to the parliament and clashed with police forces who were trying to control the crowd.

The Police used tear gas and water cannons after protesters threw paving stones at them. Authorities reported that many protestors who had injured officials were arrested. Farmers announced another big protest for the 20th of March in sixteen cities across the country. They also said that they could not reach an agreement with the government in their meeting on Saturday, the 9th, and the government's effort to end the protests did not yield results this week.

On a related note, on Sunday, the 10th, Law and Justice, the former ruling party and now the opposition, announced that it will organize a rally called the Great March of Warsaw on the 18th of March in the capital to support Polish farmers. The participants of the rally will demand the ruling coalition to resist the EU's Green Deal and stop Ukrainian agricultural imports to support Polish farmers' revenues. Some citizens criticized Law and Justice and called their support fake because it did not address the farmers' issues during its rule in late twenty twenty-two, when the Polish farmers held their first protests.

Smuggling cigarettes from Ukraine and Belarus to Poland has become a common practice because they are cheaper in non-EU countries. Even though the government increased measures to stop smugglers at the Belarusian border, they found a new method to get past security.

On Monday, the 11th, authorities said that they captured a balloon that was flying over the border to Poland carrying 500 cigarettes. The sky was cloudy that day, and smugglers took advantage of the weather conditions. Last year, authorities detected several balloons flying from Belarus, thinking that they could be spy balloons. However, now authorities have found out that they can also be smugglers' balloons.

On Friday, the 8th, women went out on the streets in various cities to commemorate International Women's Day. Women in Warsaw named their rally Enough of Promises, Time for Action, referring to the politicians' promises to liberalize abortion. They also spoke about important social issues such as workers' protections, tenants' rights, and discretionary time for every individual at work.

On a sad note, last week, a Polish man brutally raped and then stabbed a Belarusian woman in the garden of a house in Warsaw. Many criticized people's indifference because no one helped the victim, only in the morning the local street sweeper noticed the girl, who unfortunately died in the hospital. Doctors said they could’ve saved the victim if she had arrived at the hospital earlier.

On Wednesday, the 6th, more than a thousand women took the streets in Warsaw to protest and demand the government take more measures to protect women against violence.

The current law says that someone can be convicted of rape only if the victim actively resisted and screamed. However, when the victim has a dissociative reaction and freezes instead of screaming is not considered rape.

Amid the incident, the parliament will consider changing the law for rape cases in the coming days. According to the Left Party’s proposed bill, an offender should get more than three years of prison in the case of rape, instead of the previous two-year sentence. The bill also aims to change the definition of rape.

As said before, currently, the victim should show resistance for a sexual interaction to be regarded as rape. The new definition will consider any sexual interaction that occurs without the victim’s consent as rape. However, this change opened a discussion among the public because the new law might criminalize non-rape incidents, like two drunk people having sex, since a drunk person is not able to give consent

Let’s switch gears to the business market. On Monday, the 11th, the Dr. Clown Foundation published a report showing that the number of non-profit organizations has increased since twenty ten. According to the study, today there are 155,000 non-profit organizations in Poland, and 50,000 of them opened after twenty ten.

Agata Bednarek, head of the Dr. Clown Foundation, said that they need to educate Poles more on the activities of the organizations because forty percent of the population does not associate themselves with any organization and does not contribute financially at all.

Moving on to culture. On Friday, the 8th, the local administration in Zakopane announced that a new World War II museum will open in the Tatra Mountains on the 27th of March. The museum, named The Palace, was a place where Nazi Germans kept over 2,000 Polish resistance fighters and slaughtered 400 of them during World War II. The Palace has prisons and interrogation rooms that bear the memories of the war’s atrocities. Visitors can witness the suffering of the imprisoned people from their scratched inscriptions on the cell walls and doors.

Recently, there were a lot of incidents when climate activists splashed paint on important monuments, like the Mona Lisa portrait in France, to draw attention to climate change. On Monday, the 11th, Warsaw’s iconic mermaid statue, the symbol of the city, shared the same fate. Two young female activists poured orange paint on the statue and were arrested. Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, the minister of culture, condemned the activists and asked them to stop harming the historical artifacts.

On Sunday, the 10th, the movie Zone of Interest won two Oscars at the 96th Academy Awards, the international most acknowledged film festival. British, Polish, and American producers shot the movie about the life of commandant Rudolf Höss and his family living in the shadow of the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, the camp in Poland where Nazi Germans killed 1.5 million people during WW2. Zone of Interest won the Academy Awards for the best international feature film and the movie with the best sound.

And.. that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

Are you a long time listener? Did you ever want to participate on the show? Well, this is the chance you were hoping for! We want to launch a new series of interviews by our community for our community. Want more information? Email us to info@rorshok.com with the subject line Interviews.

Do zobaczenia!

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Rorshok Poland Update
Rorshok Poland Update

Support us

We don’t want to have ads in the updates, which means we currently make no money doing them.
If you enjoy listening and want to help us out financially, you can do so by leaving us a tip. If you can’t help us out financially but still want to support us, please hit the subscribe button in your preferred podcast platform and tell your friends about us.
Support Rorshok Poland Update
We haven’t had any Tips yet :( Maybe you could be the first!