Poland’s public broadcaster TVP has expanded the activities of its subsidiary Belsat TV by opening a new, larger office in Kyiv. “What we now need is regional information,” said Agnieszka Romaszewska Guzy, Belsat TV’s director. Belsat’s head was in attendance at the opening, as were Bartosz Cichocki, Poland’s Ambassador to Ukraine, and Mateusz Matyszkowicz, President of TVP, who joined the event online.
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Commenting on the necessity for the Belsat TV office in Ukraine, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy said that the countries of the region (Central and Eastern Europe) are tied to one another on many levels, but most of all politically.
“A lot depends on what will happen in Belarus and Poland depends on Ukraine,” she said.
“Our television is meant to serve the inhabitants of these countries, to let them get to know each other. This mutual knowledge is often lacking; people often know more about what is going on in the United States than in a neighboring country,” Romaszewska-Guzy said.
She stressed the importance of delivering good-quality, independent knowledge on what is happening in Ukraine.
“At the moment, there’s no point beating around the bush, there is a kind of information warfare going on, and information is weaponized,” she said, saying that Belsat TV is obliged to do its part in it.
Alyaksey Dzikavitski, Belsat TV’s Deputy Director, stressed the utmost importance of reporting “on the events of this barbaric war started by the Russians”.
He said that “it is particularly important now, because we perfectly understand, and I think a lot of people in Belarus understand, that the Ukrainians are fighting for our cause as well, for Belarus.”
“Once the aggressor breaks their teeth on Ukraine, and I believe that will be the case, then Belarusians too can hope for the collapse of the Kremlin-supported regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka,” Dzikavitski said.
Belsat in Ukraine and elsewhere
Belsat is not a newcomer to Ukraine. A branch office of the station has been operating in Ukraine since 2018.
But the growing number of journalists and crews, as well as the expanding program offer, necessitated a new office to accommodate the new needs.
“Right now in Kyiv alone, we have three permanent, fully staffed reporting teams, who every day collect materials, including at the front lines,” said Ilya Suzdalev, the head of the TVP office in Kyiv.
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Belsat TV is the only independent Belarusian-language television station. It was established in 2007 in response to the needs of Belarusian democratic opposition circles for a media outlet that would provide reliable information and promote Belarusian culture and language.
In Belarus itself, Lukashenka’s regime cracks down on the native culture and language, promoting Russian in their stead.
Belsat’s programming is the work of Belarusian journalists based in Belarus and Poland.
Belsat TV is a subsidiary of TVP, cofinanced by Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with monetary contributions from various international donors.