Polish president attends Volhynia Massacre commemorations in Ukraine
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish President Andrzej Duda took part in observances in Ukraine on Sunday marking the 75th anniversary of the Volhynia Massacre.
Polish President Andrzej Duda at a mass held at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in the city of Luck marking the 75th anniversary of the Volhynia Massacre. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
Duda attended a commemorative mass at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in the city of Luck, where he handed over a cross dedicated to the memory of the murdered Poles to the local bishop.
Duda also paid a symbolic tribute to the victims of genocide at the sites of no longer existing Polish villages in the Volhynia region and laid wreaths at a burial ground of murdered Poles.
Between March 1943 and the end of 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out genocidal killings in Nazi German-occupied Poland, according to Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which is charged with prosecuting crimes against the Polish nation.
The IPN has said some 100,000 Poles died in the massacres, mainly women and children as men had already been subjected to mass deportations and repressions both by Soviet and Nazi authorities by the time the massacres started.
Meanwhile, some 10-12,000 Ukrainians were killed in revenge attacks by Poles by the spring of 1945, the IPN has said.
A spat between Warsaw and Kyiv over Ukraine’s ban on searches for the graves of Polish victims of conflicts and repressions in Ukraine has been ongoing since spring 2017.
An official from the IPN last year said Ukraine blocked a team of Poles from searching for the remains of Polish victims of crimes in that country, including the so-called Volhynia Massacre.