May 18, 2022

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Armored Warsaw welcomes the US President in yellow and blue – the world

The historical center of Warsaw is marked in yellow and blue. The colors of Ukraine paint the cobblestone streets that run through the armored area for the visit of the President of the United States, Joe Biden. The area around the Polish Presidential Palace, in the heart of the capital, is off-limits and only journalists and reporters from around the world are allowed in. The National Stadium area, outside the Vistula, where Biden’s meeting with some refugees is scheduled for tomorrow, is also under maximum control.

Seated on a bench, an old woman accepts offers in exchange for Ukrainian flags and pins, while the yellow and red flag of Warsaw flutters on the lamppost next to her.

Further evidence of the solidarity and closeness of the Polish people towards those who continue to flee the war and who, specifically in Poland, have found sanctuary in the many reception centers set up by the government and the municipality. Tourists are forced to the unlikely possibility between the barriers arranged along the entire route, which tomorrow will bring Biden to visit Andrei Duda, who today assessed the refugee emergency with the US President at the Rzeszow military base, a few kilometers from. Ukrainian border.

“There is not much to be said – admits a Spanish tourist intrigued by the deployment of police officers at the center – it is fantastical and unbelievable that we are discussing a war in the heart of Europe in 2022.” A little further back there is a guide detailing the architectural works that make up the Presidential Palace. Then he pauses and calms down: “Don’t worry, all these police are here to visit Biden.” The owner of one of the many restaurants in the mall looks inconsolably at the situation and wonders where the customers are. “What do you think of Biden’s visit? I honestly think that NATO needs to do more,” he replied when pictures of the US president disembarking from Air Force One at Rzeszow Airport arrived on the restaurant’s television.

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A few hours later, the president descended in Warsaw, and the city is paralyzed to allow the transportation column to reach the Marriott, a stone’s throw from the Palace of Culture and Science, in the heart of the city. There, at the foot of one of the symbols of the Polish capital, hundreds of protesters gathered at sunset to demand NATO to “close the skies in Ukraine”. From the field, there were chants against “murderer Putin” and many chants in support of the Ukrainian army and government. To show not only Poles, but many, many Ukrainian women with a yellow and blue flag waving in the sky. “I can’t imagine there is no safe place in my country,” says one of the signs held by a Ukrainian girl. On the other hand, a man carries a manifesto with a clear message addressed to NATO: “Enough of promises, time for action.” Upon Biden’s arrival, protesters stand by the side of the road, while a girl draped in the Ukrainian flag raises another sign to the sky against the person who has now been given the very dishonorable nickname “Butler.”