Polish president believes Ukraine will defeat Russia

GIAN EHRENZELLER/PAP/EPA

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said he is convinced that Ukraine will defeat its enemy and repel the Russian invasion, also thanks to support offered by Poland and other allies.

"We have been hosting today our neighbours, our brothers from Ukraine who have again been fighting against Russia," Duda said during a Monday ceremony commemorating the 160th anniversary of the January Uprising, the largest and longest-lasting armed insurrection against Tsarist Russia rule on Polish soil.

"Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians were fighting together to throw off Russian shackles and Tsarist oppression as well as for their freedom and the rebirth of an independent state," Duda said.

Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the president said that history had been repeating itself in dramatic cycles but the will of both the Polish and Ukrainian nation to defend their freedom remained strong.

Duda added that the situation looked the same with "our Lithuanian neighbours and brothers," and Belarusians, whose will to regain full sovereignty and independence was unyielding.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, who attended the ceremony, said that the January Uprising had proved the vitality of the people of the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Nauseda compared the struggle of the two nations with today's fight of the Ukrainian defenders against Russian imperialism.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a message read out by the Ukrainian ambassador that, 160 years ago, "our nations united their forces to fight against Russian imperialism."

Zelensky also said that the January Uprising had accelerated the national rebirth and independence movements on the territories of modern Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania.

The uprising started on January 22, 1863, and aimed to restore the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. But it was eventually and brutally suppressed the following year by imperial Russian forces.

The president delivered his message at Warsaw's Citadel, a 19th-century fortress that had been built by order of Tsar Nicholas I after the suppression of the 1830 November Uprising in order to bolster imperial Russian control of the city.