Eastern European NATO leaders visiting Ukraine in show of support against Russia


The presidents of Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are the latest NATO national leaders to visit Ukraine and meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a show of solidarity nearly seven weeks after Russian forces invaded the country. The four nations on the front lines of the clash with Russia have been among the strongest voices inside NATO for a tougher, more aggressive stand against the Kremlin.

On Wednesday, President Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania visited a battlefield in Dmytrivka, a town east of Kyiv, and closely examined a number of Russian tanks that had been destroyed by Ukrainian fighters.

“Heroism, love of freedom, and homeland always triumph over savagery,” Mr. Nauseda wrote in a Twitter message. “Ukraine needs weapons for their fight here and now.”

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The four presidents join a growing list of European leaders to visit Ukraine in person. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently made a surprise trip there and walked the streets of Kyiv with Mr. Zelenskyy. 

Officials in Washington said there were no plans for President Biden to join the list of Ukraine visitors. Mr. Biden made a trip earlier this month to the Polish border with Ukraine, meeting with U.S. troops and some of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have flooded into the country.

President Nauseda accused Russian soldiers of committing war crimes in Ukraine and said they should not go unpunished. Mr. Biden this week accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of staging a genocide in Ukraine.

“The horrors of war that Ukraine has suffered could not have been committed by human beings. The creatures that did this don’t deserve the name,” Mr. Nauseda wrote. “This is a conscious, targeted and extremely brutal annihilation of the Ukrainian nation.”

Mr. Zelenskyy, in his latest video plea for greater outside support against Russia, warned in an English-language address posted on Twitter that some of his visitors Wednesday may be facing Russian guns soon if Mr. Putin is not stopped in Ukraine. “Poland, Moldova, Romania and the Baltic states will become the next targets if the freedom of Ukraine falls,” Mr. Zelenskyy said. His forces need more weapons to “save millions of Ukrainians as well as millions of Europeans.”


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