They dare! The heads of government from three EU and NATO countries are taking the train to kyiv to show President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the 44 million Ukrainians that they are not alone. Your freedom is also our freedom.
It is not a cheap spell of Western values from a safe distance. Mateusz Morawiecki, Petr Fiala and Janez Janša set a practical example and risk their lives.
kyiv is a city under attack. Military experts have been warning for days that the Russian attack to close the siege ring could start at any moment.
Railway lines and highways to the south on both banks of the Dnieper are still open. Are there ways beyond the military to stop the siege?
The example of peaceful solidarity stretches the imagination
The reactions to the solidarity trip are different. For some, it only illustrates the differences of opinion in the EU and NATO. For others, it gives hope and expands the imagination: can the West counter attackers with unconventional methods and surprise Putin?
Poland and its neighbors are asking Ukraine for more military aid, preferably a no-fly zone over the western part of the country; NATO should enforce them. Germany and others reject this; they fear that a direct confrontation with Russia could spiral out of control.
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But now this civil example of peaceful solidarity is in the world. Can it become a chain reaction? The more than 30 states that belong to the EU or NATO could agree that there would always be two or three heads of government in kyiv, who would then be replaced by the next successor.
The Berlin airlift was initially considered unrealistic.
That would be a human shield from the highest representatives of Western democracies for the democratically elected government of Ukraine. Representatives of major religions could join. Would Putin dare shoot them?
It sounds like a fantasy far from the reality of war. I do not practice. But that is what many said when the Soviets tried to force western Berlin to capitulate with ultimatums and roadblocks.
“People of the world, look at this city!” The appeal of the ruling mayor Ernst Reuter was followed by the airlift. Berlin remained free.