Polish truckers to start round-the-clock blockade of border crossing on Nov. 27
Polish haulers are set to escalate their protest by initiating a "round-the-clock blockade" at the Medyka border crossing with Ukraine starting from November 27, as revealed by State Border Guard spokesperson Andrii Demchenko in a televised announcement on November 26.
Prior to this decision, the Medyka crossing had experienced disruptions limited to the hours between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Kyiv time, according to Demchenko.
This protest action stems from the grievances of Polish truckers, who began their blockade on November 6, objecting to the liberalization of EU transport regulations for Ukrainian trucks. The consequences of this protest are evident in the long queues and significant delays on both sides of the border, with approximately 2,100 vehicles stranded and unable to enter Ukraine as of November 26.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, Slovak haulers also joined the protest by blocking truck movement at the Vysne Nemecke checkpoint on November 21. However, Demchenko's latest update indicates that the traffic on the Slovakia-Ukraine border has been restored, with around 350 trucks successfully crossing within the past day.
Despite assurances from the protesting Polish truckers that the blockade would only impact non-essential goods, reports from Ukrinform on November 20 revealed that trucks carrying crucial supplies such as humanitarian aid, fuel, and other essential goods faced significant delays at the border.
As the situation intensifies, exacerbated by worsening weather conditions, the plight of the truckers has taken a toll, resulting in the unfortunate deaths of two Ukrainian truckers while awaiting clearance at the border. Both deaths were attributed to natural causes, with one of the individuals having endured over three days of waiting.
Recognizing the severity of the situation, Kyiv is now making preparations to evacuate Ukrainian truckers stranded in the midst of this border blockade, as announced by Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhii Derkach on November 23. The evolving circumstances underscore the urgency for a resolution to alleviate the humanitarian and logistical challenges faced by those caught in the midst of this cross-border disruption.
Ukraine retaliated against Russia's mass attack with 35-drone-strike
Ukraine responded to Russia's mass Shahed drone attack on November 25 by launching approximately 35 drones targeting Russian military installations overnight on November 26, as reported by Ukrainska Pravda, citing a military intelligence source.
The Ukrainian drones were directed towards Moscow and its surrounding regions, as well as Tula and Smolensk. Russia asserted that it had successfully intercepted and shot down 24 of the Ukrainian drones.
According to the source cited by Ukrainska Pravda, this counterattack serves as a clear signal to Russia that its indiscriminate strikes against Ukrainian civilians will not go unanswered. The source emphasized the principle that military actions should be confined to war zones, and any attacks on civilians or areas beyond the recognized conflict zones will be met with consequences.
The backdrop to this retaliatory move was Russia's deployment of 75 Shahed kamikaze drones on the morning of November 25, primarily targeting Kyiv. Ukrainian air defense reported successfully downing 74 of these drones during the six-hour assault. Unfortunately, the attack resulted in at least two injuries and caused damage to both residential and non-residential structures across the capital.
Shahed drones, originating from Iranian design, are characterized by their cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and long-range capabilities, making them a preferred choice in Russia's mass strike operations, particularly after exhausting their arsenal of advanced missiles. Notably, both Russia and Ukraine have developed their own iterations of the Shahed design.
The recent exchange of drone attacks underscores the escalating tensions between the two nations, with each side employing unmanned aerial vehicles as a significant component of their military strategies. The situation emphasizes the need for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate and find a peaceful resolution to avoid further harm to civilians and to stabilize the region.
Russian forces advancing in Avdiivka
Russian troops continued their operations near Avdiivka on November 25, achieving confirmed advances, as reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Geolocated videos posted on November 24 suggest that Russian forces made progress north of Krasnohorivka, a settlement located 7 kilometers northwest of Avdiivka.
Notably, various Russian military bloggers have disseminated footage purportedly depicting Ukrainian forces withdrawing from positions in the industrial zone on the southern flank of Avdiivka. However, conflicting reports emerged, with another military blogger asserting that Russian forces had not yet completely captured the industrial zone.
In response to these developments, the Ukrainian military reported successfully repelling Russian ground attacks east and south of Novokalynove, as well as in the vicinity of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, Sieverne, and Pervomaiske—settlements all located within a 15-kilometer radius of Avdiivka.
The fluid situation on the ground and the conflicting reports highlight the complex and dynamic nature of the conflict in the region. The ongoing military actions near Avdiivka underscore the importance of accurate and up-to-date information to comprehend the evolving situation, and it emphasizes the need for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.