This paper aims to analyze the response to and representations of Ukrainian refugees in European countries such as Poland and the reasoning behind it. Generally, Ukrainian refugees have received a very warm and generous welcome, from both the political leaders and ordinary citizens. However, it stands in stark contrast to the way the same countries reacted to refugees fleeing places like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The primary reasons for the differing attitudes are the perception of Ukraine as a fellow civilized Christian and European nation with strong cultural and historical ties to countries such as Poland, women and children making up the vast majority of refugees, a sense of solidarity arising from Ukraine’s neighbors vividly remembering life behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, and the pragmatic understanding of Ukrainian victory as a bulwark against Russian aggression towards other countries in its former sphere of influence. The point is not to downplay the horrific trauma and suffering of Ukraine but to examine the variety of cultural, political, economic, and geographic factors that affect how nations see humanitarian crises that supposedly are all equally deserving of empathy and aid in the name of our shared humanity.

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