- February 24, 2022
Statement of The Association of Polish Media in Lithuania on Russian Aggression Against Ukraine
To my compatriots and fellow journalists
in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia
Dear Compatriots, Friends,
in the face of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a country so close to us historically, today we are with you with our thoughts and hearts, with the proverbial pen and prayer. For years we have been together on the front lines of the information war that Putin’s regime has been waging against the entire free world, especially against countries once enslaved by Russia. We are united by the still vivid memory of the Soviet partition and the joint struggle for your and our freedom, which led to the fall of communism.
The successful return to the democratic paths of development made by the countries of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – free Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine – was not to the liking of the new dictators who took power in Moscow and Minsk. Today, the revival of Russian imperialism has turned into outright military aggression, which we strongly and firmly condemn. We realize with horror that, as well as a hundred years ago on the fronts of World War I, Poles or descendants of Poles who remain in the ranks of the Russian but especially the Belarusian and Ukrainian armies, may again stand up to arms against each other. The heirs of the glorious traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was the bulwark of civilized Europe for four centuries, resisting the attempts of the growing power of Moscow…
The Kremlin’s brutal attack is a challenge to our great Polish community. We are glad that Poland and Lithuania are standing side by side with Ukraine without hesitation, as they did centuries ago. We also regret that hundreds of thousands of Poles in Belarus and thousands of descendants of Polish exiles in Russia remain on the other side of the front line. Furthermore, we stand in solidarity with all our compatriots drawn into this fratricidal war, sharing the pain and concern for tomorrow, because there is no safe Lithuania and Poland without free Ukraine and Belarus.
Special expressions of support and solidarity go to our friends – journalists of the Polish media in Ukraine, but also in Belarus and Russia, where they have long been forced to fight for the truth under extremely difficult conditions. May this awareness of a great national and historical community give you strength and help you face the greatest threat to the whole of Europe today, which is the criminal tandem of the Putin and Lukashenko regimes. Let Vilnius, Minsk, Lviv, Kyiv, and Warsaw be united once again by the determination to fight for a common cause – our future, worthy of our heroic past!
Association of Polish Media in Lithuania
Translated by Marta Graban within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.