That may have changed on Sunday when the convoy hit the Czech Republic, where opinions are divided on the question of NATO against Russia. While hundreds of Czechs warmly welcomed the convoy as it passed through the country, a contingent of anti-NATO protesters were also in evidence.
“We considered blocking the roads, but we finally decided to organize a demonstration in Prague in front of the base where the American soldiers will stay,” said Jiri Vyvadil, a former social democrat deputy who became one of the main pro voices. -Russians. in the countryside. “I will come with a banner that says ‘Czechs against NATO.’ ”
No such attitude has been publicly displayed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Poland – countries which consider themselves much more directly threatened by future Russian aggression. This was not the dominant opinion in the Czech Republic either. Indeed, a group of Harley-Davidson riders met the American convoy at the Czech border to escort it through the country.
In the parking lot of the Drawsko Pomorskie school where the Americans had set up their Stryker vehicles for public inspection, Andrzey Matuzak watched from his dented blue bicycle.
Mr Matuzak, 59, a former border guard during Poland’s communist years, wore a stylish set of American camouflage fatigues. But he expressed surprise when asked if he had dressed up specially for the occasion.
“I wear them all the time,” he said. “I was passing by when I saw the helicopters.”
Marcelina Klimczak-Bolewicz pushed her 8-month-old daughter, Paula, in a covered stroller up the ramp of one of the Stryker vehicles while her 3-year-old son, Karol, casually inspected the heavy weaponry.
“Yeah, I feel safer seeing Americans here like this,” she said. ” But it’s not enough. We need it more and more. I am very afraid of this conflict and what could happen to these little ones. Who knows what Putin might do?