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The Polish Connection (3)
Russia’s Unprovoked Terrorist War On Ukraine

COMPILED BY
Robert Strybel
Warsaw Correspondent

(Update March 11, 2022)

HARRIS REASSURES POLAND FOLLOWING FIGHTER MIX-UP
Vice-President Kamala Harris recently assured Poland and other allies of the Biden Administration’s unswerving commitment to the security of all NATO states. Her visit was seen as an attempt to undo any embarrassment Poland may have experienced after Washington rejected its proposal to deliver its Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. At a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Harris praised Poland for its efforts to take in and assist Ukrainian refugees and said the Polish-US alliance was stronger than ever. “The US stands by its NATO allies and will continue to support the Ukrainian people,” Harris told the conference. And added; “Putin has made a mistake that will result in resounding defeat for Russia.” For his part, Duda said America  was “in the vanguard” of imposing punitive measures on Russia, and added that these sanctions “are working.” He also said: “The decision on whether to send fighter planes to Ukraine should be made collectively by the whole NATO alliance.

POLAND’S FREE-WILL REFUGEE MODEL
Considering that Poland has received 1.53 million Ukrainian refugees in 16 days’ time, a certain amount of initial chaos at the border was inevitable. Especially since the entire 2014-2015 migrant influx to Europe totaled only 1.3 million. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński recently met with his German and French counterparts to discuss ways to distribute the newcomers. Kamiński stressed that numbers or quotas were unimportant, since the main goal is to allow refugees to choose their destination of preference and help them arrive there. At present, new arrivals receive a leaflet with information in Ukrainian telling them what services are available and where. Hot tea, coffee, soup and a meal are provided by the Catholic charity Caritas Polska, and refugees can spend the night in makeshift dorms. Kamiński said the government had created a fleet of 1,300 buses which travel between the border and 147 reception centers around the country, and refugees are free to choose where they want to go. “If someone says they want to go to Spain, it is up to us to arrange their safe,  humanitarian passage,” he added.

POLAND TO ACCOMMODATE UKRAINIAN ORPHANS
Poland’s Ministry of Family and Social Policy has offered accommodation for  up to a thousand young kids evacuated from orphanages in Ukraine. The youngsters are first transported to one of three reception centers set up in the southeastern Polish city of Stalowa Wola. There they can safely rest and play following their often harrowing journey to Poland. After two to three days, they are transferred to Polish residential care institutions. Information about children who need to be evacuated from Ukraine can be provided via a special hotline,  532-402-575, or by email:  ewakuacja@mrips.gov.pl. Those offering accommodation are asked to email: miejcadladzieci@mrips.gov.pl

POLAND DESERVES AN APOLOGY FROM EU AND U.S.
In an interview with Poland’s Interia news site, former US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said “Poland deserves an apology. On the part of the EU and the USA.”  She went on to explain: “It appears that a bloody war had to break out in the heart of Europe for some – particularly Germany – to realize the consequences of being bound by trade agreements with Moscow. How could an authoritarian state be allowed to use gas and oil as a weapon? As regards Russia, Poland was right. Although they are now working together, the US, France, Germany and Great Britain were unable to prevent this war and stop a dictator ruling a country with the GDP of Texas. One by one, Putin sliced off pieces of Ukraine and attacked independent countries while the West looked passively on.”

TRUDEAU IN POLAND PLEDGES PREFERENTIAL IMMIGRATION
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Poland recently and met with Ukrainian war refugees at the Polish-Ukrainian border. At a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trudeau said his government has set aside $117 million for special immigration-related activities. That will include the acceleration of immigration procedures. “Canada will eagerly play host to refugees from Ukraine,” he explained.  Apart from English and French Canadians, Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry comprise that country’s third largest ethnic community. Over the generations. they have been attracted by i.a. the grain-growing prairie provinces which reminded them of the fertile steppes of their native Ukraine.

HAGUE TRIBUNAL COLLECTS WAR-CRIME EVIDENCE
Ukraine has accused Russia of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the UN Tribunal of Justice based at the Hague. The tribunal has sent a delegation of fact-finders to Poland to collect evidence of the presumed violations. Theoretically, every war refugee entering Poland is a potential witness since many have personally experienced or been eye-witnesses to   atrocities committed against the civilian population. Since the onset of Putin’s invasion, Poland has worked closely with Ukraine in documenting such cases.

POLAND BACKS UKRAINE’S EU BID, OTHERS BACKSLIDE
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has appealed to the European Council in support of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. The Polish PM said it was “not fair” that some EU leaders wanted to “close the EU’s door on Ukraine” at a time when Ukrainians were dying “for our freedom, for our democracy and security.” As he spoke, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to rage. He called for tougher sanctions against Moscow for its aggression, adding that it was the only way to stop the “cruel slaughter” it had inflicted on Ukrainians. The European Council is the EU’s priority-setting body composed of the heads of state or government of EU member nations.

LEGION ILLEGAL IN SOME PLACES BUT NOT  IN AMERICA
According to Ukrainian officials, so far at least, 20,000 volunteers from around the globe have signed up to fight alongside Ukrainian forces against the Russian invasion in response to an appeal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. There is even a website (www.legionofukraine.com) which enjoins foreigners: “Together we will defeat the dictator. Stand with Ukraine! Fight for Peace! Defend the World! Join the Brave! Fight for Freedom!“ But, despite their noble intentions of fighting for an embattled nation’s freedom, some legionnaires may run afoul of their country’s laws. Some nations, including the United Kingdom, warn that any of its citizens who travel to take part in combat could be prosecuted under anti-terror legislation. That does not apply to Americans. In 1896, the US Supreme Court endorsed a lower-court ruling that it was not a crime under US law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army.

DEFENSE MINISTRY WARNS AGAINST DISINFORMATION
It has been said that the first victim of any war is truth, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is certainly a case in point. Poland’s Defense Ministry has issued guidelines describing the disinformation being spread by  the Kremlin’s paid propagandists and assorted agents of influence and useful idiots with regards to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Education is one of the most effective tools in combating disinformation,” the ministry said. It called on the public to “think and be immune to disinformation” by following these guidelines: “Don’t be influenced by the headline,” the defense ministry said, adding that audiences should be wary of emotional language and evaluate the credibility of authors and pictures.  It also advised citizens to consult alternative sources of data and think before sharing any content. The Russian bombing of a Ukrainian maternity hospital, in which three people were killed and 17 wounded, was described by Putin’s right-hand man Lavrov as follows: “After all the women patients, nurses and other staff had been kicked out of the hospital, it became the base for (Ukraine’s) ultra-radical Azov Battalion.  The footage of the victims being carried out was a media manipulation. This was not the first pathetic outcry alleging atrocities committed by the Russian military.”

OPPOSITION STABS POLAND IN THE BACK    CONSERVATIVES
Political leaders and media linked to Poland’s ruling conservative United Right coalition have accused the country’s liberal-left opposition of effectively stabbing Poland in the back at a time of heightened international challenges generated by Putin’s war. The liberal-left-dominated European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for swift enforcement of the conditionality mechanism which conservatives call “the blackmail clause.” In essence, conditionality means that the EU funds to which a country is entitled can be frozen if the executive European Commission, the EU’s prime enforcer, decides it has violated the rule of law. That concept remains poorly defined and can include anything not in keeping with liberal-left ideology. Among those voting for the resolution were  former Polish PMs: liberal Jerzy Buzek and three ex-communists.

REFUGEES KIDS ENCOUNTER LANGUAGE BARRIER
Ukrainian kids coming to Poland with their mothers as well as orphans accompanied by guardians have all experienced some degree of cultural shock. Although Polish and Ukrainian are both Slavic tongues, both written texts and rapid colloquial speech are only partially intelligible. Refugee youngsters have been removed from their country, their home surroundings and their familiar language zone. But, on the basis of personal experience this reporter assures that this will be a short-lived obstacle. At the age of five, our Polish-born son Leszek knew no English, but two months after we enrolled him in a Catholic kindergarten in Bay City, Michigan, he was jabbering away with playmates as if born in America.

“WEAPONIZED” MIGRANTS STEP UP BORDER ASSAULT
Eighty-five Third World migrants were recently prevented from crashing their way into Poland’s from Belarus, and another 29, who did make it over, were later detained. It was the largest such attempt so far this year. In 2021, before sub-freezing temperatures set in, a daily storm by many dozens or over a hundred illegals was not uncommon. Lured to Belarus by visions of the “good life” and generous welfare handouts in the affluent EU, they were used as human weapons by Putin’s vassal, Belarusian dictator Lukashenka, to destabilize the West.

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