Airlift of weapons to Ukraine

Airlift of weapons to Ukraine

After unloading at Rzeszów Jasionka Airport, the most dangerous part of the logistical process begins: the transfer of weapons to Ukraine. Russia has described Western arms convoys in Ukraine as “legitimate military targets”.

Most weapons probably cross the border by truck. At Rzeszów Airport, cars are largely located in an enclosed area, but in the parking lot on the other side of the terminal you can see up close how the equipment is loaded. By Mark Gibson, who drove all the way from Leeds in a truck full of military uniform. “We left yesterday morning, I was devastated,” he says. A Ukrainian agent in the British Football League has asked Gibson, a Leeds United fan, to help transport the uniform. “Then I got a call from a guy named Goweri,” Gibson says. “He said I have to come here to deliver things.”

The truck he is carrying is a civilian truck with a Ukrainian license plate. The driver is wearing a military uniform with the Ukrainian flag on his shoulder.

Trucks carrying weapons near the crossing are also civilian. This was likely chosen to prevent detection by the Russian army. The choice of Ukrainian drivers is also not accidental: in this way a direct confrontation between NATO soldiers and the Russian army is avoided. In short, the risk of arms transfers rests with the Ukrainians themselves.

The border between Poland and Ukraine is heavily guarded, so the odds of driving a truck into Ukraine are limited. The trucks are likely to take the A4 motorway to the east, to cross the border at Krakowice. This border crossing is just an hour’s drive from the airport. The less crowded border crossing at Hruszów is also an option, as is the border post further north at Rava Rus’ka or Medyka in the south. Any rail transport will also cross the border in Medica, where many Ukrainian refugees enter Europe.

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