Ukrainian European neighbors strengthen support in the face of Russian invasion

Warsaw, Poland — Ukrainian neighbors in Eastern Europe have stepped up their support for needy countries in the face of the onslaught of Kremlin — closing airspace for Russia’s aerial flight and shelter for those fleeing war Provided and shipped ammunition.

According to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blazzczak, Poland delivered to Ukraine on Friday the first publicly recognized military aid since the invasion began.

“The ammunition convoy we donate to Ukraine has already reached our neighbors. We support the Ukrainians and show solidarity with the Russian invasion,” he said. .. Said in a tweet..

Blaszczak did not provide details on the amount or type of ammunition, but it was clearly a declining commodity in Ukraine, and its troops increased stubborn resistance and slowed the advance of Russian fighters.

In what some analysts call his “Spartacus” moment, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declined an offer to evacuate the capital Kiev and asked for more ammunition instead.

“The battle is here. We need ammunition, not vehicles,” Zelensky told the United States, according to the Ukrainian embassy in the United Kingdom.

Zelensky said in a video posted online Saturday morning that he remained in Kiev and had no plans to surrender.

“I’m here. We’re not down. Our weapons are true, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children. , We will protect all of this, so we will protect our country, “he said.

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with the country on February 26, 2022, via a smartphone in the heart of Kiev, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press via AP)

Poland, a long-standing ally of Ukraine, has set up nine reception centers along the border to prepare for the influx of refugees fleeing violence.

Between the outbreak of hostilities and Saturday, about 115,000 people crossed the border into Poland, Pawel Szefernaker, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Interior, said at a press conference in the eastern border village of Dorohusk.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, about 75,000 of them are refugees fleeing conflict zones.

“Currently, more than 150,000 Ukrainian refugees have traveled to neighboring countries, half of them in Poland, and many in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, etc.,” Grundy wrote in a tweet.

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Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine will be transported by bus on February 26, 2022 in the Polish border town of Przemysl. (Petr David Josek / AP Photo)

As the conflict progresses, the number of internally displaced persons is increasing, but military conditions make it difficult to estimate and provide assistance, Grundy added.

Refugee flow could intensify as Kiev was ordered to expand its attacks in Ukraine after refusing talks in Belarus, the stage along the Kremlin to invade Russian troops. ..

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Ukrainian troops visited the site after the Russian airstrikes in Kiev, Ukraine on February 26, 2022. (Vadim Ghirda / AP Photo)

Poland closed its airspace on Friday to a Russian airline. This was in line with the region’s neighbors Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, urging Moscow to retaliate with Tit-for-Tat flight restrictions.

Following their footsteps, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia also announced on Saturday that they would ban Russia’s flights.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in a tweet, “I’m calling on all EU countries to do the same,” adding that “there is no place to put the invading planes in the democratic sky.”

Some people are calling for more decisive steps to support Ukraine. “Sanctions don’t stop tanks. Ukrainians need concrete actions like transporting weapons,” Polish writer and documentary filmmaker Mihau Orzesovsky said in an interview.

“It is also worth considering air support for Ukrainians who bravely resist Russia’s militarism and imperialism,” said Orzechovsky, who said NATO has set a no-fly zone in Ukraine to reduce the threat coming from the sky. Suggested that it can be imposed.

The idea of ​​a no-fly zone was endorsed by some British lawmakers, but was rejected by the country’s supreme leader as equivalent to a declaration of war against Russia.

“NATO needs to effectively declare war on Russia, because that’s what you do,” said British Defense Minister Ben Wallace. According to the independent.. He added, “If we attack Russian aircraft directly, we will have a war across Europe.”

Britain also banned Russian planes from airspace and waters, and Moscow responded with retaliation.

Orzechowski said it should be stricter, commenting on the sanctions that have been put in place by the Western allies of Ukraine, such as suspending certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“Only the physical decomposition of Nord Streams 1 and 2 has a meaningful effect, otherwise after a while another” reset “will occur and Berlin and Moscow will resume the project,” he adds. I did.

Tom Ojimek


Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communication, and adult education. The best writing advice he has ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark.