Ukrainian Leader Fears ‘New Iron Curtain’ Coming Down in Europe

‘Our national task is to make sure this curtain does not fall across our Ukrainian land, but at Russian homes.’

Streets are jammed as people try to leave Kyiv February 24, 2022. AP/Emilio Morenatti

With a nod to Winston Churchill, Ukraine’s embattled president today referred to “a new iron curtain” as he addressed his nation on the very day Russian troops pummeled it with a fury not seen on the European continent since the closing days of World War II. 

It was in the aftermath of that terrible war, in March 1946 in a speech at Fulton, Missouri, that Churchill equated the looming threat of Soviet communism with an iron curtain lowering across Europe — and one that it was up to America and Britain to act against and remove.

“What we have heard today are not just missile blasts, fighting, and the rumble of aircraft,” President Zelensky said today. “This is the sound of a new iron curtain, which has come down and is closing Russia off from the civilized world.”  

With an urgency underscored by his eschewing jacket and tie in favor of military khakis, he added, “Our national task is to make sure this curtain does not fall across our Ukrainian land, but at Russian homes.”

Such counter-action, regardless of provenance, seems less likely by the hour. Mr. Zelensky’s address came as the Russian attack, which began with an incursion into two contested regions in the eastern Donbass region, raged on multiple fronts, moving ever closer to the capital, Kyiv. Along with it came a growing list of casualties and the impetus for thousands of shell-shocked Ukrainians to flee to neighboring countries. 

If the center of Kyiv was eerily calm after many had departed, much of the periphery seems to be on fire.

Mr. Zelensky wasn’t just imploring his compatriots: “If you, respected European leaders, leaders of the free world, if you do not help us today, if you do not give Ukraine real help, the war will knock on your door tomorrow.”

The New York Sun

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