Poland Embraces Ukrainian Refugees While the West Hesitates

With more than 1.7 million Ukrainians having already fled from their homes, Poland continues to take in the vast majority of the refugees while some other NATO countries hesitate. Without hesitation, the Polish government has opened the border and welcomed fleeing Ukrainians, and public approval for helping the refugees is almost unanimous. Ukraine’s other neighbors have also welcomed large numbers of people fleeing from the fighting.

Ukrainians flee to neighboring countries

Geography always decides the course of any refugee crisis, which is why Turkey continues to host millions of refugees from the civil war in Syria.

Poland might be similarly swamped soon, but the Poles themselves are rising to the challenge. The country has now taken in more than one million refugees on its own.

Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Russia have all taken in tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. Moldova now has 4,000 refugees per 100,000 residents and the small country is already struggling to cope with the numbers.

Romania and Hungary are temporarily providing free food and housing and Western European governments have pledged to help share the burden.

Most people fleeing from the war, however, will reach Poland first. When they reach the border they are processed through an expedited screening which has been made as simple as is feasibly possible.

After that, the refugees are welcomed by an army of Polish volunteers providing free food, clothing, prepaid phones, and assistance in finding accommodation.

Poland doing everything it can for refugees

In one poll assessing the attitude of Poles towards the refugees, an incredible 65% of respondents said that they intend to personally help the fleeing Ukrainians.

Ordinary Polish citizens are opening their homes to the refugees and providing generous discounts to  Ukrainians at their stores and restaurants. Transportation and other services are being provided by the government for free.

Despite the overwhelming generosity of the Polish people, Western media has repeatedly taken the opportunity to argue that the Poles are being racist and selective with their sympathy for refugees.

The United States and the United Kingdom have been hesitant to commit to taking in Ukrainians, but that hasn’t stopped English language media from implying that the Poles are being hypocritical, given their past stance on refugees.

Poland has been criticized in the past for being wary about accepting “refugees” from Africa and Asia, who are often single men of military age. Almost all Ukrainian refugees are women and children, as men are not allowed to leave the country.

Despite these unscrupulous accusations, Poland and its neighbors will continue to receive millions of refugees. To maintain their generosity throughout the duration of the crisis, they will need financial support and donations from the rest of the world.

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