Polish farmers block railway at Medyka border crossing and spill grain from hopper car

Polish farmers block railway at Medyka border crossing and spill grain from hopper car – photo, video

Polish farmers blocked the railway near the Shehyni-Medyka checkpoint and spilled some grain from a freight train wagon on the morning of 20 February.

Roman Kodruv, a co-organizer of the protests, stated that the protesters' actions were driven by "emotions" as the farmers felt "desperate due to the grain influx from Ukraine." The protest, which included spilling grain from freight cars, was part of the ongoing demonstrations by Polish farmers at several border crossings, expressing their opposition to the imports of Ukrainian agricultural products and the EU's Green Deal. The emotional response reflects the frustration and concerns among the farmers about the impact of Ukrainian grain on their livelihoods.


Grain dumped by Polish farmers was transiting to Germany

Polish farmers dumped grain on the railway track at the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing on Feb. 20, 2024. (Ukrainian Railways/Telegram)

According to Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry, the Ukrainian grain spilled by Polish farmers at the Medyka-Shehyni crossing was en route to Germany. The incident occurred amid escalating tensions at the border, with Polish farmers blocking several crossings earlier in February. The protesters spilled approximately four metric tons of grain from two freight cars waiting for reloading onto narrow-gauge trains. Ukrainian authorities emphasized that all Ukrainian freight cars are checked and sealed at the border by Polish regulatory authorities, making it impossible for the grain to enter the Polish market. Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister condemned the act, stating that such actions only benefit those interested in destabilizing the countries involved.

Ukrainian carriers launch counter-demonstrations at Polish border

On February 20, Ukrainian truckers began demonstrations at several crossings on the Polish border, including Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska, Medyka-Shehyni, and Krakivets-Korczowa. The demonstrations were organized in response to a blockade by Polish farmers that began earlier in February. The farmers were protesting against the imports of Ukrainian agricultural products and the EU's Green Deal. The truckers, expressing their frustration, carried placards with messages such as "Stop the blockade – let Ukrainian drivers return home" or "Ukraine lose – Poland lose!" The border blockades have led to disruptions in trade and raised tensions between Ukraine and Poland.

Ukraine plans new export route on Danube to bypass Polish blockade

Amid the Polish blockade affecting Ukraine's ground border with the EU, Ukraine is planning to use an additional route on the Danube River to increase exports to pre-war levels. The new route will involve container transportation via the upper Danube, connecting the Ukrainian seaport in Izmail to Romania's Constanta. This alternative route is seen as a response to the unpredictability caused by the blockade on the Polish border. The move aims to circumvent disruptions and maintain the flow of Ukrainian exports to European markets. Additionally, the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company has constructed a second large-tonnage barge, enhancing cargo delivery capacity.

Polish protesters intend to extend the border blockade until April and threaten not to allow buses through

Polish farmers blocking traffic near Ukrainian checkpoints have announced plans to extend their protest for another month until April. The protest is organized by the Polish farmers' association "Oszukana Wieś" (Deceived Village). The farmers are escalating their demonstration to press the government to meet its obligations to the agricultural sector. They intend to continue the protest rotationally, with farmers taking turns at the border. The extension of the blockade could lead to increased disruptions and further tensions in the region, impacting cross-border trade and transportation.

Russians in Avdiivka have enough strength to continue their offensive, the main direction is Lastochkyne

Ukrainian forces have begun defending their positions near the city of Avdiivka, and battles are ongoing in the area. Russian troops are reportedly attacking in the direction of the village of Lastochkyne, west of Avdiivka, and they have sufficient forces to launch an offensive in that area. The Deputy Commander of the 3rd Assault Brigade, Maksym Zhorin, provided this information on Telegram, stating that the fighting is intense, though not as violent as in the city of Avdiivka. The situation remains fluid, and the conflict continues to evolve on the ground.