At 1 p.m., Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was set to lay flowers and make a speech at the monument commemorating the victims of the Volhynia Massacres in Warsaw’s Volhynia Square, officials said.
Morawiecki’s office honoured the occasion on social media, posting on Twitter: “On this day in 1943, Ukrainian nationalists attacked and murdered Polish nationals gathered in churches for Sunday mass throughout the Volhynia district in what became known as the Volhynia Bloody Sunday. More than 100,000 Poles lost their lives in the Volhynia Massacre .”
On Friday, the prime minister visited the site of the former Polish village of Ostrówki in today’s western Ukraine, which perished in the Volhynia Massacres, to honour the victims.
President Andrzej Duda’s office also commemorated the National Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide by Ukrainian nationalists against Poles during World War II.
It noted in a tweet that the Polish president on Sunday paid tribute to the victims of the Volhynia Massacre, alongside Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, during an ecumenical service in Lutsk, Volhynia, in today’s western Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Monday laid a wreath at the monument commemorating the victims of the Volhynia Massacre in Warsaw’s Volhynia Square.
On Tuesday, Poland’s top diplomat tweeted: “On the 80th anniversary of the Volhynia Massacres, we pay homage to the still nameless victims of those events. Today we stand and reflect, remembering about the need to respect and pray for all victims of armed conflicts. It is our belief that only joint efforts to discover the truth will lead to a lasting reconciliation between Poland and Ukraine."
On Tuesday, the Polish Foreign Ministry tweeted: “Today marks the 80th anniversary of the tragic events that took place in the eastern territories of the former Second Polish Republic. We remember Poles murdered in Volhynia, Podolia and the Lviv Region and bow our heads to their often nameless graves."
The Volhynia Massacres were carried out between February 1943 and the spring of 1945 by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in Nazi German-occupied Poland, according to Poland’s National Institute of Remembrance (IPN).
Some 100,000 ethnic Poles in total were slaughtered in the 1940s by Ukrainian forces, according to some estimates.
On July 11, 1943, the day of the worst bloodshed, Ukrainian nationalists attacked 100 villages largely inhabited by Poles in what was then Nazi-occupied eastern Poland and is now western Ukraine.
The massacres were part of an operation carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), whose plan was to have a sovereign and nationally homogenous Ukraine after the war.
The Volhynia region, which was within Poland's borders prior to World War II, was first occupied by the Soviets in 1939, and then by the Nazi Germans in 1941.
Source: gov.pl, Polsat News