NATO responds to Russian annexation | Ukraine announces bid for NATO membership | US Congress approves military financing for Poland | Arnold Schwarzenegger visits Poland | Last day for volleyball championships in Gdańsk

(Fot. Twitter/NATO)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed documents to incorporate Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions into Russia during a televised ceremony in the Kremlin yesterday.

In a speech following the ceremony, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Moscow of an illegal and illegitimate “land grab” and vowed NATO’s “unwavering support” for Kyiv.

Stoltenberg described the move as „the most serious escalation” of the war in Ukraine since Russia began its invasion last February. The seizure of these four regions, Stoltenberg explained, represents „the largest attempted annexation of European territory by force since the Second World War,” adding that an area roughly the size of Portugal had been “illegally seized by Russia at gunpoint.”

Earlier in the week, Russia held what it called “referendums” in occupied areas of Ukraine, exercises conducted with military force present and denounced by US, UK, and EU officials as “illegitimate,” “illegal,” and “a sham.”

Stoltenberg ended his comments by reaffirming NATO’s „unwavering support” for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, promising that the Western alliance would continue to support the country in defending itself against Russia.

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Radio Poland, Reuters

In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Friday that his country was formally applying for fast-track membership to NATO.

Zelensky discussed the announcement via a video posted on social media, saying Ukraine was “ready for negotiations, but with a different Russian president.”

Response to Ukraine’s announcement has so far been muted among other NATO members, with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi telling Politico the US was “very committed to democracy in Ukraine” and that she would support Ukraine “having a security guarantee.”

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Radio Poland, PAP

The US Congress has approved USD 288.6 million in foreign military financing for Poland in an apparent effort to shore up security in the region.

The funding, which was announced earlier this month by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, makes Poland “one of the largest recipients of foreign military assistance outside of Ukraine” and is intended to build Poland’s capacity to “deter and defend against the increased threat from Russia.”

According to US officials, the funds “will speed the backfill of capabilities Poland has been able to provide from its own stocks to add to Ukraine’s defense, including main battle tanks.”

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who was in Washington DC last Thursday for talks with members of Congress, said the decision was “in line with the need to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO” as „deterrence is the essence of preventing war and ensuring peace.”

Several US officials have recently praised Poland for its “extraordinary support to Ukraine” in the face of Russia’s invasion, with US Ambassador Mark Brzezinski tweeting that Poland “is an example for the whole world to follow.”

Source: Radio Poland,

Hollywood icon and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a quiet visit to Poland this week to visit the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and the nearby Jewish Museum in Oświęcim.

According to reports by Deutsche-Welle, Schwarzenegger’s visit was linked to his work with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation as well as his ongoing efforts to fight hate speech on social media.

During his visit, the Hollywood star met with a former Auschwitz survivor and placed candles at the “Death Wall,” and at a monument to victims of the nearby Birkenau site, vowing to fight hatred and discrimination and keep alive the memory of what happened at the concentration camp between 1940 and 1945.

Source: Radio Poland,

The Polish women’s volleyball team will face off against Turkey tonight in the last match in Gdańsk for the FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championships.

The Poles are currently in second place in Group B, with the top four contenders guaranteed a spot in Phase 2, which will begin in Łódź on Tuesday.

The leader of Group B, the Dominican Republic, will start off today’s matches against 4th-ranked Thailand at 14:00, followed by South Korea vs. Croatia at 17:30, and Poland vs. third-ranked Turkey at 20:30.

South Korea and Croatia currently sit at the bottom of the leaderboard with no points, guaranteeing a spot for Poland in Phase 2.

Source: Radio Gdańsk,


Today will be a mix of sun and clouds, with very little chance of rain during the day and a light breeze coming in from the south. Temperatures will remain on the chilly side, with a high of 16°C, or 60°F this afternoon, dropping to a low of 9°C or 46°F overnight. Clouds and a chance of rain are expected to return later this evening, with rain again in the forecast for tomorrow and Monday.

Elizabeth Peck

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