Poland 'reached' out to Ukraine in its hour of need says president
Poles "reached out" to their Ukrainian brothers in their hour of need by opening their hearts, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said on Wednesday.
The president was addressing a crowd packed into the courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw just before a speech by Volodymyr Zelensky, his Ukrainian counterpart.
"In an hour of need, we Poles, reached out to those of our brothers who were in need," Duda told the crowd, which was made up of mostly Poles and Ukrainians.
"We opened our hearts and immediately offered assistance by welcoming into our homes those neighbours who were fleeing the war, by assisting in their transport, by organising various collections, charity events, donations of gifts and taking them to Ukraine – to those most in need," said Duda. "And we are still doing so, right to this very day."
The president added that the Polish government, along with local governments, non-governmental organisations and churches were all engaged in providing support.
"But above all, millions of Polish women and men are involved," he noted.
"I thank you, once again, with all my heart, for this great civic and widespread general outburst of solidarity," he said.
Referring to military aid for Ukraine, Duda said that "there was no time wait" and that was why Poland was sending its tanks, armoured personnel carriers, howitzers and planes to Ukraine. "We are setting an example for other countries," he said.
"Today, we are sending a clear message to Moscow, to the Kremlin… You will not be able to divide us. Never again!"
"The conditions that world leaders should demand from Russia must involve the complete withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian territory," he added.
"Today, Ukraine needs the the faith of the entire free world in its victory. We, Poles, believe that Ukraine will defend itself against Russian aggression."