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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

 

Polish support for Ukraine

From Transitions Online:


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.

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