Andrzej Duda and Volodymyr Zelensky met in Lviv earlier in the day alongside Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda for trilateral talks in the so-called Lublin Triangle format.
In the evening, the Polish and Ukrainian heads of state visited the Polish Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów, also known as the Young Eagles’ Cemetery, to pay tribute to thousands of Polish youngsters who were killed during the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918-1919 and the 1920 Polish-Soviet War.
The Ukrainian city of Lviv was once part of Poland and was called Lwów.
Duda and Zelensky laid wreaths at the Young Eagles’ Cemetery, where the young Polish defenders of the city are buried.
The Polish president’s top foreign-policy aide, Jakub Kumoch, said in a tweet: “At the Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv [next to Young Eagles’ Cemetery], the two leaders also paid their respects to Ukrainians who were killed in the battle for Lwów in 1918, and visited the graves of Ukrainian soldiers who were killed in action during the war with Russia.”
Young Eagles Cemetery
The Polish Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów, also known as the Young Eagles’ Cemetery, holds the remains of thousands of Polish youngsters who defended the city during the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918-1919 and the 1920 Polish-Soviet War, hence the name “Young Eagles’ Cemetery,” according to the PAP news agency.
The burial ground’s famous landmark are the twin stone statues of lions, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Removed by the Soviet administration in 1971, the lion statues were reinstated in 2015. Three years later, the then Lviv authorities demanded that they be removed again as “a symbol of the Polish occupation of Lviv.”
Since then, the lion statues had been covered with chipboard.
The relaunch of the lion statues was announced in May 2022 by Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi.
He said in a Polish-language tweet that the gesture would hopefully constitute “a step towards final, mutual forgiveness of past wrongs” between the two neighbouring nations.
“Long live Poland! Glory to Ukraine,” Sadovyi tweeted.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook at the time that "the famous lion statues, which grace the Polish Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów, are one of the symbols of the difficult Polish-Ukrainian history.”
Morawiecki added that the restoration of the lion statues “represents a symbolic, sharp and clear message to all enemies of Poland and Ukraine.”
He vowed: “Nothing will divide us - we are united as never before!”
Wednesday was day 322 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, prezydent.pl