Ukraine: This is how dangerous it is for politicians to travel through a war zone

The trips of many politicians to Kyiv are carried out top secret. But how dangerous are these tours? How does it work?

Friedrich Merz M sleeping stroller. Narrow bed, newly made in glossy white linen, wall upholstery in cream blue. The colors harmonize with the CDU leader’s shirt. There are water bottles on the small table. The train passes through green bushes and trees in May. “A fun ride,” Merz said on camera. The video can be viewed later on Twitter. But could it be?

Nothing in the scene is spectacular. Merz travels through a war zone, from the Polish border towards Kyiv. The front extends hundreds of kilometers to the east. But the airspace is closed over the whole of Ukraine for some reason. keep hitting missiles They also reached the west, striking tank farms, armories, and railways.

Ukraine: strict secrecy before the trip

On the Kyiv Travel Western parliamentarians, presidents and prime ministers are shrouded in secrecy during these weeks of war. It was “top secret” above all the trip of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin at the end of April. More on this topicUkraine War Balance Sheet – What Putin Has Achieved So Far

US authorities confirmed their meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky only when Blinken and Austin returned to Poland. The fear of a Russian retaliatory attack by a “stray missile” was too great. After all, the Kremlin knows very well that the US intelligence services provide information to the Ukrainian army. This was the only way to be able to target the killing of Russian generals or a missile attack on the “Moskva”, the battleship of the Black Sea Fleet.

The German opposition leader is less vulnerable. Merz knew this and refused personal protection by the BKA. His journey should clearly send a message of normalcy. In the internal political dispute, he was able to increase pressure on Chancellor Olaf Schultz to finally go to Selenskyj.

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War: How Dangerous Is Traveling Through Ukraine Really?

This indicates that the “pilgrimage” of Western politicians Kyiv Not least about icons. About stories of solidarity, solidarity and courage. Pictures of the British Prime Minister are still fresh in mind Boris Johnson, who was walking in the center of Kyiv with Zelensky, accompanied by heavily armed soldiers. However, the final standard was set by the heads of government of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. In mid-March, they were the first EU politicians to travel by train to Kyiv and he met them in the basement with Zelensky.

At that time it was one feeling. Especially since the Russian forces were still besieging the city and capturing it with fire. Dramatic portraits of traveling heads of government match this. An iconic image shows them bending over the map together. Real paper instead of google maps.

As in the General Staff, the politicians themselves seem to choose the right path and not their secret services. Another photo shows Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wearing a protective helmet and flak jacket sleeping stroller.

But how dangerous and exhausting is the train journey to Kyiv really? The President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen For example, who drove to Zelensky after three weeks of eastern troika, photographed herself in the cabin, casually sitting on the wide armrest of a plush leather armchair.

Most celebrities traveling to Kyiv are unlikely to lack comfort. Polish media revealed that Eastern Europeans traveled to Kyiv in a luxury chariot in March. Ukrainian railway company UZ owns about a dozen of them Luxury car. Although it dates back to the Soviet era, when it was dedicated to the highest party cadres, it was updated in 2013.

Ukraine: If a guest from the country travels with you, trains will be blocked

Today, any customer with money can rent these wagons for a few thousand euros or one Full luxury train Charter. Facilities include a modern kitchen, meeting room, a “Royal Suite” with a 1.60m wide bed, its own toilet and even a bathroom with shower. The water flows as if you were not traveling on rails.

but also without luxury trolley A single cabin in First Class for state guests must be standard. What an increase in comfort can only be guessed by anyone who has ever sat in the classic cabin of four in the average Ukrainian night train was on the way. Bunk beds replace the beds there. In public restrooms, passengers can refresh in the morning in small ponds. When the water runs

In the first weeks of the war, thousands of refugees with pets crowded such trains. The railway company UZ emphasized that “all vehicles, including luxury cars, are available for evacuation, especially for the disabled, elderly and children.” But one thing is clear: if the state guest is traveling with her, the trains are closed.

who – which Danger of missile attacks Share all travelers. How high it is in individual cases can not be estimated even by experts. At the latest, the April 8 bombing of the train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, which killed more than 50 people, showed that the Russian military is also targeting civilian targets in the railway infrastructure. When state guests travel, you are supposed to choose secret services Safe ways out of place. But once the trains start rolling, little can be done except for the usual blackouts at night. Therefore, even a trip through the war zone in a luxury car is not a pleasant trip.

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