While visiting Kyiv on Tuesda, Polish President Andrzej Duda became the first statesman to have a plaque on the newly founded Alley of the Brave, which was unveiled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Duda met Zelensky in Kyiv to discuss ongoing humanitarian, military, and economic aid for Ukraine.
At a press conference held after the meeting, Duda underlined that the aggression against Ukraine had begun in 2014 rather than in February of this year. He also noted that Aug. 23 marked the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
“For us, this is a day of protest against war and against Russian imperialism, which is being reborn,” said the Polish president.
Zelensky also unveiled the Alley of the Brave itself, which pays tribute to those political leaders supporting Ukraine during the war and who were brave enough to visit Kyiv during the conflict.
Duda was the first person commemorated, as the Polish president was among the first leaders that visited Kyiv during the Russian invasion on April 13, 2022.
“The name of President Duda will always be here as a symbol of courage, friendship, and support for Ukraine when we really needed it,” said Zelensky.
At the end of the press conference, one of the journalists asked Duda if he was not afraid to come to Kyiv given reports of Russia preparing an attack.
“Are you not afraid?” replied Duda, who also said that ”if a man represents his nation and state, he must accept the risks involved.“ Zelensky added that it was because of the stance taken by Duda that his name is among those on the Alley of the Brave.
During his stay in Kyiv, Duda also participated in the second summit of the Crimean Platform, an international conference of countries pressing for the end of Russia’s occupation of Crimea. This is Duda’s third visit to Kyiv since the beginning of the occupation. On the first visit, he led a delegation of presidents including himself and the presidents of the three Baltic states. On his second visit, he addressed the Ukrainian parliament.