President recalls Volhynia Massacre anniversary

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday recalled the National Day of Remembrance of the massacre of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists during WWII which Poland observes on July 11.

"Tomorrow we are marking the National Day of Remembrance of the Genocide of Poles, Citizens of Inter-War Poland, by Ukrainian Nationalists. My heart was thumping when on the 75th anniversary of the massacre I laid a wreath on the site of the now non-existent Polish village in Volhynia. Let the memory live forever!" Duda wrote on Twitter.

In 2018, Duda visited the site of the village of Kolonia Pokuta, which has since been turned into farmland.

The Volhynia Massacre of Poles in the pre-war eastern-Polish regions of Volhynia and Galicia culminated on July 11, 1943, when the UPA, the Ukrainian nationalist militants, attacked some 100 Polish villages. The day is known as the Volhynia Bloody Sunday.

According to historians, around 100,000 Polish nationals were killed in the massacre, including 40,000-60,000 in Volhynia and 20,000-40,000 in Eastern Galicia, and at least 4,000 on the territory of today's Poland. According to Poland's National Remembrance Institute, some 10,000-12,000 Ukrainians were murdered during Polish retaliatory operations by the spring of 1945.