On November 11, a 54-year-old truck driver from Ukraine died in Poland in a parking lot near the Dorohusk-Yahodyn checkpoint, where he was waiting to cross the border. And on Thursday it was announced that a second driver, aged 56, died while waiting to cross the border.
Volodymyr Balin, vice president of the Association of International Motor Carriers, told Suspline that the second trucker was found in the cab of his vehicle in a parking lot in the Polish town of Korczowa.
“I understand that the most likely reason is physiology, but one way or another, the stress they get because of this strike, due to the fact that they are forced to live in their cabs and it is unclear when they will be able to get to Ukraine, adds to the negativity and causes certain situations,” Balin said.
Temperatures are now dipping below freezing and there have been reports of drivers running low on fuel and food while waiting.
Polish transport companies expanded their protests against what they call "unfair" competition from Ukrainian truckers by blocking another border checkpoint on Thursday.
The blockade began on Nov. 6 at three major border crossing points with Ukraine, but has now extended to the Medyka crossing in southern Poland, as talks with the blockading transport companies, Kyiv, and Warsaw failed to yield a solution, according to an AFP report.
Protesting Polish transport company owners backed by Poland's far-right Confederation Liberty and Independence alliance were joined by some local farmers who said grain prices have been depressed by Ukrainian imports.
“We are here at the border in Medyka today, starting a three-day warning protest against the situation in agriculture and in transport,” Roman Kondrow, the leader of the farmers’ protest told AFP.
Farmers have called for subsidies and preferential loans to support their businesses and said they would block the Medyka crossing for several hours a day before imposing a full-scale blockade starting Monday.
“We stand behind our Polish national transport sector and we support each other - they support us, we support them,” Kondrow said.
The organizers claimed they would allow passenger traffic as well as humanitarian and military aid to pass through.
Kyiv has reported several instances of desperately needed humanitarian aid being held at the border due to the blockades.
The Polish and Ukrainian infrastructure ministries, along with EU representatives, have attempted holding talks with the transport companies trying to resolve the crisis but have yet to reach an agreement.
According to the Polish news agency PAP, some 3,000 trucks are being held up, with “around a thousand” trucks currently lined up to cross the border at the Korczowa checkpoint, 750 trucks at Dorohusk, and around 620 at the Hrebenne crossing.
On Wednesday, organizers of the truckers’ protest said local authorities had agreed to allow the blockage in Dorohusk, originally planned to end Dec. 3, to be extended for a further two more months.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter