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Poland set to mark anniversary of 1863 uprising against Russia

20.01.2023 23:00
A host of memorial events are scheduled to take place this weekend as Poland prepares to mark the 160th anniversary of its 1863 January Uprising against Russian rule.
Image:Polish Ministry of Defence

President Andrzej Duda wrote in a message on Friday that the revolt 160 years ago was the largest and longest-lasting Polish national uprising in the 19th century.

"With arms in hand, Poles stood up against the czarist empire, which did not recognize our rights to self-determination and was intent on destroying all things Polish in a process of fierce Russification," Duda said.

"Our nation spoke with a powerful voice of pride and protest," he added.

As part of the commemorations, officials are expected to lay flowers at the Warsaw Citadel, a 19th-century fortress in the Polish capital where many Poles were imprisoned and executed after the failed insurrection.

The 1863 revolt, though unsuccessful, paved the way for the country’s hard-won sovereignty in 1918, officials have said.

The January Uprising broke out on January 22, 1863 when a provisional national government issued a manifesto in which it appealed to all Poles to take up arms against czarist Russia.

The insurgency became the largest and longest of Poland's armed struggles for independence during the 19th century. It comprised more than 1,200 battles and skirmishes fought by some 200,000 insurgents.

Over 30,000 insurgents were killed during the bloody one-year-long struggle and some 40,000 were deported to Russia’s remote Siberia region.

Poland ultimately regained independence on November 11, 1918, the day World War I ended, after 123 years of being partitioned by Russia, Austria and Prussia.


Source: IAR, PAP, prezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Piotr Miszczuk.