Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials salute Poles on Armed Forces Day

“Only together can we defend the independence of our states for the benefit of future generations,” said the President of Ukraine in an address given in Polish and published on social media.

“Dear friends, allies, brothers,” Zelenskyy opened his speech. “It is an honour for any leader of a state to be able to address Poles this way. And I am proud that such an address is the most deserved when made by the Ukrainian state.”

President Zelenskyy said that Poles and Ukrainians, two nations sharing a long history, have come to an understanding on a matter fundamental to both nations: freedom. He thanked the Polish people for the support they have provided for Ukraine, calling it “historical”, and concluded the speech, which he gave entirely in Polish, with the words:

“Glory to Poland, Glory to Ukraine.”

Other top officials have sent similar wishes, thanking the Polish people for the support, many of them in Polish, and drawing parallels between the way the Poles defended their fledgling independence against Bolshevik hordes and the Ukrainian’s defence against the Russian aggression of the present day.

“Ukraine and the Ukrainian people are grateful and recognise the important role of their Polish allies, as step by step we move closer towards victory over the Russian occupiers,” said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. He stressed that the anniversary is closely tied to the Polish-Ukrainian military co-operation. “Side by side, the Polish Army and Army of the Ukrainian People's Republic, jointly shedding blood on the battlefields, have over a hundred years ago saved Europe from the Bolshevik threat. It was the Miracle on the Vistula.”

“Today, similarly to 100 years ago, the neo-imperial policy of the Kremlin threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of not only the independent Ukrainian state but also attempts to upset the unity and solidarity of the democratic world,” said PM Shmyhal. He said the Polish-Ukrainian solidarity in the face of this aggression has ensured the democratic world has united behind Ukraine.

PM Shmyhal referenced the old motto of Polish insurgents fighting against occupation and oppression: “In the name of God, for your and our freedom”.

Today, side by side, we defend Europe from Russian imperialism. We are ready to go on, support each other in the dignified defence of your and our freedom,” said Shmyhal, and similarly to President Zelenskyy, he concluded his address with “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Poland. Together we will be victorious.”

Shmyhals Deputy PM, Iryna Vereschuk, sent her best wishes to the “valiant and mighty Polish army”, and thanked the Polish people for all their support. She also referenced the Polish-Ukrainian brotherhood in arms, saying that “now the battle is waged again,” and expressed the conviction of an imminent joint victory. “In the name of God, for your and our freedom,” concluded Ms Vereshchuk.

“All the best to our friend, Poland, and the Polish Army!” wrote Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov on Twitter “Our people know well, that Armed forces are the guarantee of an independent state and the freedom of [its] people.”

“I congratulate the Polish people on Armed Forces Day!” wrote Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament. “Support of fraternal nations in the military sphere is extremely important. We understood this in 1920, we understand it now. Grateful to our friend [Poland] for the amount of help that [Ukraine] experiences every day. Mutual support is the key to joint victory!” “In the name of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and my own, I congratulate you on the Polish Armed Forces Day,” Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, four-star general Valery Zaluzhny, said in an address in Polish published on Twitter. “In the Battle of Warsaw, your nation defended its statehood and saved Europe from the Bolshevik invasion.” General Zaluzhny too, referred to the fact, that the army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic was the ally of Poland in the struggle. “Today, as we did 102 years ago, we face against a common, centuries-old foe [...] We fight for our and your freedom. Together we will win.”

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