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In Cincinnati, Lech Walesa weighs in on Ukrainan unrest

This weekend the Freedom Center will honor two revolutionary freedom fighters, the late Nelson Mandela and Lech Walesa.

The former Polish President was leader of the non-violent Solidarity movement that ended the Communist regime in Poland in the late 1980s. Friday at a news conference he was asked whether the U.S. is doing enough to bring peace to the Ukraine.

Through an interpreter he said, it appears the U.S. is not willing to continue with it's leadership position, so it should establish the framework for a committee to help solve problems in that region of the world.

"Then we will have a small group of individuals talking to Putin-you know, look at the price everybody's paying, yourself and us, is it really worth it? But they would be involved in talking to Putin. Then the remaining group or agency would be quietly focusing on identifying the issues, that if implemented, would really hit and hurt Putin and the country."

On Friday the Security Service in Ukraine classified the crossing of 20 Russian aid trucks,  as a "direct invasion" of that country. Russia says it has made a humanitarian choice to act by sending the supplies. The leaders of both countries are scheduled to meet  Tuesday in Belarus. In February Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine after a secession crisis.

In Cincinnati, both Walesa and Nelson Mandela are receiving the "International Freedom Conductor Award." Mandela's great-grandson Luvuyo Mandela is accepting the honor on behalf of the anti-apartheid revolutionary who passed away in Dec. 2013.

The gala event is Saturday night at the Duke Energy Center. It's part of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center's larger 10th anniversary celebration.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.