The head of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance, Jarosław Szarek, a member of the presidential delegation to Ukraine, 11-12 October 2020

The program of the visit to Ukraine includes, among others, attending the ceremony at the Polish War Cemetery in Kiev-Bykivnia and meeting of the heads of the Polish and Ukrainian Institutes of National Remembrance.

  • A commemorative ceremony at the Polish War Cemetery in Kiev-Bykivnia. Photo by Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP
    A commemorative ceremony at the Polish War Cemetery in Kiev-Bykivnia. Photo by Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP

President Andrzej Duda, together with his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda and the presidential delegation, arrived on Sunday to pay a three-day visit to Ukraine. The visit began on Sunday evening at the Polish War Cemetery in Bykivnia near Kiev, where a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre was held.

"Bykivnia is one of the resting places of over 100,000 victims of communism, of whom there were millions in Ukraine. This is the place from which one can better understand what Poland as well as Europe were saved from when the Poles stopped the Bolsheviks near Warsaw in 1920," said President Szarek commenting on the event.

The political part of the visit is scheduled for Monday. Andrzej Duda will meet President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov. The IPN’s President, Jarosław Szarek, will have the opportunity to talk to his Ukrainian counterpart, Anton Drobowycz.

During his visit to Kiev, President Duda also placed a symbolic basket full of wheat ears in front of the “Holodomor Victims Memorial” 1932-1933, and also lit a candle at the Memorial Cross of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.

Andrzej Duda will also unveil a monument to Anna Walentynowicz in front of the Polish Embassy. Walentynowicz was born on 15 August 1929 in Rivne, Ukraine. She died in the Smolensk plane crash on 10 April 2010. Presidents Duda and Zelenskiy will also lay wreaths at a plaque in Odessa mounted on the 10th anniversary of President Lech Kaczyński’s death in the Smolensk air disaster.

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