Polish protesters resume blockade at the border crossing
Polish protesters have resumed blocking trucks at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint, a crucial crossing at the Ukrainian-Polish border. The protests, initiated by Polish carriers in November, resumed despite being banned by local Polish authorities on December 11. A court overruled the ban, allowing the blockade to restart. Protest organizers plan to permit only one truck per hour through the checkpoint. Vehicles transporting humanitarian cargo, animals, and perishable products will be exceptions. United Village, a Polish farmers association, announced its intention to join the protesters at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing. The blockade has caused significant disruptions at border crossings, impacting trade and transportation.
Funds to replenish Ukraine military aid to run out on Dec. 30
The Pentagon is set to exhaust funds for replenishing arms and equipment sent to Ukraine by December 30 unless additional funding is approved by Congress, according to Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord. The U.S. administration has warned multiple times about the potential depletion of Ukraine funds by the year-end, as an additional $61 billion remains pending in Congress. McCord's letter emphasized the urgency of Congressional action on the administration's supplemental funding request to ensure continued security assistance for Ukraine. A National Security Council spokesperson indicated that one more military aid package for Ukraine might be announced before year-end, potentially the last one without further Congressional approval.
Ukrainians' trust in Zelensky declines to 62%, trust in military, Zaluzhnyi remains high
A recent poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) indicates a decline in public trust in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the past year. Trust in Zelensky dropped to 62%, down from 84% in December 2022, while the percentage of those expressing distrust increased from 5% to 18%. Trust in Ukraine's civilian government as a whole also declined from 52% to 26%. However, trust in the military and its Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi remained high, with 96% expressing trust in the military and 88% trusting Zaluzhnyi. The poll results come amid reports of alleged discord between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi.
Russia increases special forces in occupied Kherson Oblast
The National Resistance Center has reported an increase in the number of Russian special services and military personnel patrolling for Ukrainian resistance fighters in occupied Kherson Oblast. Russian occupation forces are reportedly intensifying "counter-sabotage" efforts to intimidate residents providing information to the Ukrainian military. Separate radar reconnaissance units are said to be searching for sources of radiation using satellite phones. The National Resistance Center also noted the deployment of around 100 members of the Russian National Guard to search the area for guerrillas. The Ukrainian military has conducted incursions into Russian-occupied territory in Kherson Oblast throughout 2023.