Battles are becoming even more difficult for Ukrainian forces in freezing trenches due to a border blockade by Polish trucks. This is generating considerable delays for the army. Truckers in Poland are fuming about cheap competition from drivers in Ukraine, who aren’t regulated by EU regulations on hours worked or pay rates. Ukrainian customs authorities, according to the Poles, unjustly make them wait while Ukrainian drivers are given precedence. Protesters are demanding that the European Union—which has been hesitant to do so due to the ongoing war—restore the permit system for Ukrainian truckers, which was abolished during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Border demonstrations by Polish truckers have caused essential shipments of drones, electronics, and pickup trucks to be several weeks delayed for charities and NGOs providing military help to Ukraine’s armed forces.
The delivery of night vision equipment, vital for troops making their way to combat positions safely, is still pending, according to one Ukrainian soldier named Oleksandr, serving in eastern Ukraine. He said that the machinery has been stalled at the border since November 6 since Polish truckers have blocked important crossings, leading to bottlenecks stretching kilometers long.
Slovak haulers started a similar blockade on December 1. Protesters claim that Ukrainian drivers are undercutting their costs and want to halt the permit-free entry of Ukrainian trucks to the EU. According to Kyiv, a truck permit system is not feasible due to the high traffic during warfare.
Ukrainian nonprofits have donated drones, cars, and body armor worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the military forces, who have used this equipment extensively during the conflict. Issues at the border have arisen due to the ongoing dispute in Washington and Brussels over the fate of much bigger assistance packages from the United States and the European Union, which Kyiv desperately needs. Military equipment producers are feeling the effects of the border demonstrations. Since the beginning of the conflict, when Russia blocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, Poland has been the primary conduit for Ukrainian imports.