If Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to unite Europe against him, he’s certainly succeeded with his brutal attacks against Ukraine. From Great Britain and Germany and Poland and other countries in Europe, soldiers are crossing the Polish border to join in the fight and resist the occupation and bombing of Ukraine by the Russian military.
— Corky Siemaszko (@csiemaszko) March 4, 2022
Reporters began to see these fighters as the crossed the border going the opposite direction of the refugees fleeing the area. Women and children were headed out of the country while men came back in, some Ukrainians but a number of others from different countries, as well.
According to NBC News:
‘Most appeared to be Ukrainian émigrés in their 20s and 30s, but some could also be heard speaking other languages. Many of the men had black tactical boots hanging from their duffle bags. And judging by the license plates of the cars dropping them off at the crossing in this Polish border town, they had come from as far away as Italy and Germany.’
#Ukraine Red Cross #volunteers are helping evacuate people & assisting firefighters, medical & civil protection teams – helping save many lives. They're also helping at reception centres&coordinating with #Polish Red Cross to assist people at the border: https://t.co/m6Oy7m0zIT pic.twitter.com/RuoHqv0Nqm
— UN Volunteers (@UNVolunteers) March 3, 2022
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called for “friends of peace and democracy” to fight alongside the Ukrainian soldiers and civilians fighting for their country. Zelensky reminded Europeans that Ukraine is one of their own, and asked for all the assistance he could get in protecting their fragile democracy.
‘This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.’
On the Polish-Ukrainian border, volunteers offer free rides to Ukrainian refugees and donations have exceeded needs.
But that hasn't made the journey for those forced to leave loved ones behind any less heartbreaking. https://t.co/nC65q43uuG
— InfoMigrants (@InfoMigrants) February 28, 2022
Meanwhile, chaos and destruction across the country in major cities like Kyiv continue, with the most vulnerable trying to flee the violence. Polish volunteers have been working to assist the refugees, and countries like France are taking in those displaced thanks to Russian aggression.
‘More than 1 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have fled in the eight days since the Russians invaded their country, and the pace at which civilians have been crossing the border into Poland has been accelerating as the fighting has grown fiercer.’
BRAVE volunteers cross Polish border into Ukraine to fight Russian forces pic.twitter.com/IiPRu2bVfp
— Blue Sky (@Tutce1) March 4, 2022