A woman reacts while holding a t-shirt after US President Joe Biden's speech at the Royal Castle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo: REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel).

Iryna left everything in Lviv: a family displaced from Kyiv now lives in his house and wears his clothes. One day she woke up and fled to Poland “without any plan” more than escaping from war, and now he pins his hopes on the president of the United States, Joe Biden.

In the country where the most Ukrainian refugees have fled since the beginning of the Russian invasion, hundreds of people waited this Saturday for the speech of Biden in Warsaw, eager to hear something new that could help their loved ones in Ukraine.

“I want the sky to close, because if the sky closes, my friends and my family, all the people I know, will be safe,” said Iryna, 27, in an interview with Efe at the royal castle in Warsaw, where Biden gave a speech before finishing his European tour.

Iryna was referring to the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukrainean option that could force the US to shoot down Russian planes and that both Biden such as NATO have flatly ruled out, for fear that it could lead to a world war.

To Iryna and other Ukrainians present in the audience, this reasoning from the White House sounded distant and bureaucratic: it is their relatives who are still in Ukrainethey are the ones who have to write to them every day without knowing if they will respond.

“Shut the sky! weapons for Ukraine!”, dozens of attendees cried out over and over again once Biden he stopped talking and left the palace.


The president did not announce in his speech more aid for Ukrainethough on Thursday he pledged an additional $1 billion to the country and in the past month has shipped thousands of Javelin missiles, anti-tank rocket launchers, drones, grenade launchers, weapons and ammunition.

That help is still not “enough”, according to Walentyn, a Ukrainian who has lived in Warsaw for ten years and who believes that his compatriots urgently need “more weapons”.

Walentyn, 26, listened to Biden accompanied by his mother, his aunt and his three little cousins, whom he welcomed into his apartment after they fled to Poland, a week after the invasion began.

A woman reacts while holding a t-shirt after US President Joe Biden’s speech at the Royal Castle, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel).

“When the war is over, they want to returnr”, he assured Efe about his relatives, who lived in western Ukraine.

Nearby, Julia Moskovets wrapped herself in a Ukrainian flag and took selfies with her cheeks painted blue and yellow.

“My family is safe, but I don’t know how much longer it will be”the 29-year-old Ukrainian, who has been living in Warsaw for five years and whose loved ones are still in her city of Poltova, in eastern Ukraine, confessed to Efe.

“I want more help to Ukraineammunition for my country, (I want Biden) help my people to survive this situation”, stressed.


Hours before, Biden he had met some of the more than 2.17 million refugees who have fled to Poland, and whose arrival has added more than 300,000 inhabitants to the population of the Polish capital in a matter of weeks.

“All those children have told me: ‘Pray for my father, for my grandfather, for my brother who is there, fighting’he claimed Biden to the journalists who accompanied him.

The president assured that he himself knows what it is having someone in a war zone”, because his son Beau, who died in 2015 from brain cancer, fought in the Iraq war.

“Every morning you wake up and wonder (how he is). You pray you don’t get that call”, he recounted.

Like the kids you talked to BidenIryna still has in Ukraine to its “future husband”her father and her grandfather, who stayed in case it was necessary to fight while she made the difficult decision, on the fifth day of the war, to go to Warsaw with her mother.

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo: REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel).
US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel).

Although at the moment he is staying with relatives, he doesn’t even want to think about the possibility of having to stay away from Ukraine long-term.

“We had plans for the future. We graduated from college, achieved something in life, and now we’ve lost it all.”lament.

Before leaving Lviv, Iryna decided to take in a family with two small children who had fled from kyiv, and it still seems strange to her to think that now they are the ones sleeping in her bed and wearing her clothes.

Tears come to her eyes as she recounts what she left behind overnight: her dog, her guitar, her camera.

“I really think the president Biden it will help us Ukrainians, it will give us solutions to the situation, because this is a nightmare”he concluded.

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