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Saturday, 25 September 2010

President honours the memory of Polish officers

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On Saturday the President of Poland and the Prime Minister of the Ukraine attended a ceremony at the Polish War Cemetery in Kharkiv commemorating Polish officers murdered in 1940 by NKVD.


Participants also included: the Secretary of the Council for Preserving the Memory of Polish Warfare and Martyrdom – Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, members of Katyn Families and representatives of the Kharkiv city and district authorities. Also present were guards of honour of Polish and Ukrainian Armed Forces.

 

The ceremony in Kharkiv began with a mass celebrated by Marian Buczek, the bishop of the Diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, accompanied by clergymen of various religions and rites. Before the mass, President Komorowski and the Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, laid wreaths at the plaque on the NKVD building in the basements of which Polish prisoners of war from the camp in Starobilsk were held and executed.

The mass was followed by a Military Roll Call and a gun salute by the guard of honour of the Polish Army.

 

President Bronisław Komorowski expressed his hope that a fourth cemetery of Katyn massacre victims would be opened in Bykivnia near Kiev, just like the three cemeteries in Kharkiv, Mednoye and Katyn. “We want to be on the side of Polish, Russian and Ukrainian victims, and of victims from all the other nations the totalitarian system attempted or managed to destroy,” the president said.

He added that his wish is for the four cemeteries to commemorate not only the massacre but also the common fate of nations harmed by totalitarianism.

The president told journalists that he would soon meet in Yalta the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and that Mykola Azarov would be paying a visit to Warsaw. He said that he would discuss such issues as the creation of the cemetery in Bykivnia with the Ukrainian Prime Minister. He also expressed hope that the Ukrainian side would facilitate such attempts.

 

On the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, the Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, asserted that the Ukrainian people share the pain of the Polish people.

 

(PAP, own information)
 

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