President Duda unveils monument to Solidarity icon Walentynowicz in Kiev

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda unveiled a statue of Solidarity trade union co-founder Anna Walentynowicz in Kiev on Monday.

During the ceremony, Duda said that Walentynowicz, also known as "Anna Solidarnosc", was one of the founders of the great Solidarity movement and that it was her dismissal from work that sparked the 1980 strike at the Gdansk shipyard.

"Anna Walentynowicz is in fact a symbol of the Solidarity movement, a woman who, among all the men who were there at that time, was an element contributing to the female way of thinking about Poland and Polish affairs," said President Duda.

The president said Walentynowicz deserves monuments not only in Poland and recalled that she was born on the territory which today belongs to Ukraine and therefore "it can be said that she binds in herself the great value of Polish-Ukrainian friendship - our coexistence."

Anna Walentynowicz was born on August 15, 1929 in Rowne. She died on April 10, 2010 in the crash of the Polish presidential plane in Smolensk, west Russia, in which all 96 people on board died, including President Lech Kaczynski.