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Russia always wanted to rule Central and Easter Europe: President Duda

Historically, Russia has always wanted power over Central and Easter Europe, wrote President Andrzej Duda in an article published by the Israeli daily Israel Hayom. He added that free Poland, free Ukraine and all the other independent states of the region will never agree to Russian imperialistic attempts.

“For our people, it is a matter of life and death, preserving identity and survival. It is a matter of our future, security and prosperity,” President Duda wrote.

Polish President also recalled the anniversary of the outbreak of WWII when Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in 1939.

“September 17, 1939, is a date not as widely known in the West. I believe it has to be remembered not only because it decided the fate of my homeland and other countries of Central and Eastern, but did so for the next half-century,” wrote President Duda.

He pointed out that the Red Army’s incursion into Polish territory two and a half weeks after the attacks on Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe was the implementation of the secret part of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

“Two totalitarian empires entered into an alliance, planning to divide the independent countries of Central Europe amongst themselves. The German sphere of influence was to include western Poland, Lithuania and Romania, while the Soviet control was to extend over eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. For my nation, the most important consequence of the pact was the joint liquidation of the independent Polish state and the division of our territory between two occupying powers, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia,” wrote President Duda.

He also stressed that under German occupation, Poland suffered enormous human and material losses. The Nazis killed six million citizens of the Republic of Poland, including nearly 3 million Polish Jews. They destroyed and burned thousands of Polish towns and villages, most of all the country’s capital, Warsaw. They stole countless material possessions and cultural assets, both private and public, which were never returned to Poland.

“Still, Nazi Germany’s crimes were at least morally condemned by the entire free world. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the crimes of Communist Russia, which went unpunished and often forgotten,” wrote President Duda.

Soviets wanted to crush Poland

He pointed out the Katyn Massacre – the extermination of 22,000 prisoners of war: Polish military officers, policemen, soldiers, civil clerks and other political prisoners. He also about wrote the deportation of half a million Poles to gulags and forced settlements in Asia, as well as brutal terror and ideological indoctrination which were to crush the Polish national identity and tradition.

“The Soviets defeated the Nazis and, in 1945, seized the entire territory of Poland and other states further to the west and south, as far as the rivers Elbe, Danube and Drava. For our peoples, the defeat of the Third Reich did not bring long-awaited freedom. The subjection to the Russian empire continued until the fall of communism – for half a century,” President Duda wrote.

He added that the imperialistic attempts from Russia did not end with the fall of the Soviet empire.

“We remember the military assault on Georgia in 2008. We also remember several brutal suppressions of the freedom movements in Belarus and Ukraine. Finally, we remember Russia’s hostile policy towards independent Ukraine, the military annexation of Crimea and Donbas in 2014 and, above all, the ongoing full-scale genocidal war against the sovereign Ukrainian state unleashed in February 2022,” President Duda concluded.

His article was published simultaneously in the Polish monthly “Wszystko Co Najważniejsze” (All That Really Matters) as part of a project carried out with the Institute of National Remembrance and the Polish National Foundation. A series of articles by President Andrzej Duda in the international press is to improve the awareness of the dangers of Russian imperialistic policy and the historical suffering of the Polish nation.

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