The blockade by Polish truck drivers on the border with Ukraine is causing damage to the battlefield.
Trucks and medical supplies intended for the battlefield in Ukraine are currently stranded in a lengthy queue at the border with Poland.
The parts needed to construct drones for combatting Russian forces are experiencing significant postponements.
Charities and businesses in Ukraine that provide support to the military in the war-ridden country are expressing concerns about the ongoing border blockade by Polish truck drivers, which has now surpassed a month with no indication of resolution.
The protestors from Poland claim that the recent relaxation of transportation regulations by the European Union has put their livelihood in jeopardy. They also argue that the influx of Ukrainian truckers has resulted in undercutting their business.
According to Oleksandr Zadorozhnyi, the operational director of the KOLO foundation, which supports the Ukrainian army with technology for the battlefield, drones will reach the front line after a delay of two to three weeks.
According to him, this indicates that the Russian military will be able to cause harm to Ukrainian soldiers and innocent civilians for a longer period of time, extending to several weeks.
Since November 6, truck drivers in Poland have obstructed the routes leading to border crossings, causing queues of over 30 kilometers (19 miles) and lasting for three weeks in freezing weather. The demonstrators claim that their actions are not impeding military convoys or aid deliveries to Ukraine.
According to Waldemar Jaszczur, an organizer of the protest, this is extremely perplexing and almost unbelievable because it is common knowledge that military aid is able to pass through quickly without any delays, regardless of who is in charge of ordering, expediting, or transporting it.
The Polish truck drivers report that their Ukrainian counterparts are charging less to transport various goods within the European Union, including fish and luxury items. This change occurred after the Ukrainian truckers received a temporary exemption from the EU’s transport regulations following Russia’s invasion in 2022.
Despite Poland and other nearby countries being some of Ukraine’s biggest supporters in the war, resentment has built from truckers and farmers who are losing business to lower-cost Ukrainian goods and services flowing into the world’s biggest trading bloc. It underscores the challenges of integrating Ukraine into the EU if approved.
According to Ukrainian charities, the conflict between commercial entities is now extending into the realm of warfare.
Ivan Poberzhniak, the head of procurement and logistics for Come Back Alive, Ukraine’s top charitable organization supporting the military with equipment, reported that nearly 200 pickup trucks required for transporting ammunition and injured soldiers from the front line are currently stuck at the border due to a significant decrease in deliveries.
According to him, the pickup trucks are vulnerable to Russia and therefore it is not feasible to transport an adequate amount of them under normal circumstances.
According to Poberzhniak, when drivers present documentation to Polish truckers claiming that their vehicles are for Ukraine’s military, it does not greatly affect the demonstrators.
He stated that it is crucial to comprehend that in times of war, there is a constant demand for supplies in all directions.
According to Come Back Alive, there are 3,000 tourniquets currently held up at the border. While they have successfully provided drones, generators, and batteries from their existing inventory, their supply is dwindling, as stated by Poberzhniak.
According to him, the team is currently investigating different options for supply routes. However, the available choices are limited and the military’s unmet equipment demands are piling up.
The truck drivers who are protesting claim that not all shipments labeled as military assistance are actually legitimate. They are calling on the EU to restore the restrictions on the amount of Ukrainian trucks allowed to enter the union.