Thousands of Poles are on the streets decked out in orange. Both of Poland's post-communist presidents have been to Kiev to mediate. A near-total consensus in parliament and in the media: Poland has been absorbed by the events in Ukraine over the past week, and its politicians, media, and citizens are expressing an overwhelming solidarity with the Ukrainian opposition as it tries to overturn the results in Ukraine's flawed presidential elections.
In Warsaw crowds of Poles, most of them young, have gathered outside the Ukrainian Embassy, the parliament building, and the monument to Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine's national poet. Thousands have attended special concerts, Ukrainian poetry readings, and a range of other events in Warsaw. In some parts of central Polish capital where demonstrators gatheredy, not wearing anything orange has seemed at least a little odd. The same applies in Katowice, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw, Lublin, and many other cities with large student populations.
Those who believed opinion polls that indicated that Poles disliked Ukrainians more than Germans or Russians might now be feeling astonished. So too might Warsaw's shopkeepers as they try to cope with the new fashion for orange. Orange scarves, gloves, hats, and even shoes have reportedly been sold out, and kilometers of orange ribbon have been bought up.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.