Ukrainians in Poland demand no-fly zone from NATO

Group of demonstrators in Krakow describe situation in Ukraine as 'horrible'.

Ukrainians in Poland demand no-fly zone from NATO

Members of the Ukrainian diaspora and those who fled their country and took refuge in Poland demand NATO close the air space over their country to prevent more deaths.

A group of protesters gathers in the central square in Krakow city with Ukrainian flags to draw attention to those demands.

NATO must act

Adrian Harasym, a representative of the diaspora, says the main message from their demonstration is their call to NATO in this respect.

"The main message is 'NATO close the sky' right and we've been repeating this message because it's very, very important," Harasym told Anadolu Agency.

He said: "You know the Ukrainian army is very brave. It's fighting very bravely. It's strong, right; the land forces are strong, but if the air is being dominated by the enemy, it's a significant disadvantage because like Russians can bomb cities can strike some key objects like very far in western Ukraine."

He argued that "even they can strike like many kilometers away from the border or even from the International space like over the Black Sea."

"The Russian plane can shoot and just sit somewhere, but if airspace over Ukraine is close, cities could be protected, refuges could be protected, those orphanages, which have been bombed, would be safe," he added.

"We would also like to have some economic embargo against Russian oil, against all kinds of sanctions, everything would be appreciated all kinds of help."

NATO has repeatedly said introducing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would result in direct conflict with Ukraine, responding to such demands.

Situation is difficult

A young demonstrator, Tania, who has been in Poland even before the war, says she feels the pain of the Ukrainian people:

"My dad is in the military right now. He is in Kyiv. My mother, my younger sister, and my grandparents are in Ukraine. So I really feel this pain. The situation is really difficult, especially when we are talking about Donbas, or south Ukraine, I mean Mariupol, Melitopol."

She said her uncle is also fighting in the Donbas region and he described the situation in a recent phone call as "really difficult and terrible."

"Our soldiers are fighting their best way as they can. But unfortunately, we don't have enough weapons. We don't have enough even food for soldiers and even water," Tania said.

She said: "My dad explained the situation in Bucha … and when I heard these horror stories, he said that 'what you can see on the internet is like 10% of reality'."

"In Ukraine situation is really, really terrible for our soldiers, for our civilians and I don't know, I don't know what to say."

'Horror film'

Angelina, a 16-year-old student who fled Lviv city with her mother on Feb. 27, three days after the war started, says, "what is going on in Ukraine, I think, probably everyone saw how scary this is for Mariupol and Bucha."

It's so like "a crazy imagination of film director for a horror film," she said. "You know, it's so awful what is going on right now."

She said: "Children are losing their homes, losing their families. And that's really awful and terrible right now with this going on in our country.

"So we are standing here every day for fighting with that, to stop this terrible thing which is right now in my country."

Thanks to Turkiye

Harasym said he has many relatives in Ukraine and extended his gratitude to Turkiye for taking thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

"I would also like to thank Turkey for accepting Ukrainian refugees. Not only Poland -- Poland has accepted lots of them -- but also Turkey has accepted some of them and some of them I know personally," he said. "They are in Antalya now, yeah, so I thank Turkish people a lot."

He said they will continue to protest every day to "change public opinion."

"So if we believe that there will be some critical mass of people who demand the closure of sky, something may happen," he said.

"So the hope that the skies can be closed, right and at least if they will not be closed, at least those countries will remember their mistake that they haven't closed the skies and maybe they will help with rebuilding Ukraine later on.

Hüseyin Demir

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