Russia has always wanted to rule Central and Eastern Europe: President Duda
Historically, Russia has always wanted to dominate Central and Eastern Europe, writes President Andrzej Duda in an article published by the Israeli daily Israel Hayom. He added that free Poland, free Ukraine and all other independent states in the region will never accept Russian imperialist attempts.
“For our people, it’s a matter of life and death, of preserving identity and survival. It is a matter of future, security and prosperity,” President Duda wrote.
The Polish president also recalled the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II when Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in 1939.
“September 17, 1939 is a lesser-known date in the West. I believe it should be remembered not only because it decided the fate of my homeland and other central and eastern countries, but also for the next half century,” the president wrote. Duda.
He pointed out that the incursion of the Red Army into Polish territory two and a half weeks after the attacks on the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe was the implementation of the secret part of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.
“Two totalitarian empires have entered into an alliance, planning to divide the independent countries of Central Europe between them. The German sphere of influence was to include western Poland, Lithuania and Romania, while Soviet control was to extend to 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,” President Duda wrote.
He also pointed out that under the German occupation, Poland had suffered huge 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, especially the country’s capital, Warsaw. They stole countless material and cultural goods, private and public, which were never returned to Poland.
“Yet the crimes of Nazi Germany 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 forgottenwrote President Duda.
The Soviets wanted to crush Poland
He pointed to the Katyn massacre – the extermination of 22,000 prisoners of war: Polish military officers, policemen, soldiers, civilian employees and other political prisoners. He also wrote about the deportation of half a million Poles to gulags and forced colonies in Asia, as well as the brutal terror and ideological indoctrination that were to crush Polish national identity and tradition.
“The Soviets defeated the Nazis and in 1945 seized all the territory of Poland and other states further west and south, up to the Elbe, Danube and Drava rivers. For our peoples, the defeat of the Third Reich did not bring the long-awaited freedom. Submission to the Russian Empire continued until the fall of Communism – for half a century,” President Duda wrote.
He added that the Russian imperialist attempts did not end with the fall of the Soviet Empire.
“We remember the military assault on Georgia in 2008. We also remember several brutal crackdowns on freedom movements in Belarus and Ukraine. Finally, we remember Russia’s hostile policy towards independent Ukraine, the military annexation of Crimea and Donbass in 2014 and, above all, the ongoing full-scale genocidal war against the sovereign Ukrainian state. triggered in February 2022,” President Duda concluded.
His article was simultaneously published in the Polish monthly “Wszystko Co Najważniejsze” (All that really matters) as part of a project with the Institute of National Remembrance and the Polish National Foundation. A series of articles by President Andrzej Duda in the international press aims to raise awareness of the dangers of Russian imperialist policies and the historical sufferings of the Polish nation.