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Meeting of the President of Ukraine with the President of the Republic of Poland in Kyiv on 22 May 2022, Source: The Presidential Office of Ukraine

President Zelenskyy grants Rzeszów “rescuer city” title

President Zelenskyy grants Rzeszów “rescuer city” title

The local community welcomed Ukrainians fleeing war with outstanding support

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has granted the Polish Municipality of Rzeszów the status of “rescuer city” for its outstanding support in helping Ukrainians fleeing from the war. It happened during Andrzej Duda's Sunday visit to Kyiv, informs the website of the Polish President. This makes Rzeszów the first city to receive such an honourable status, as it was established only yesterday by a presidential decree.

An extraordinary mention for an extraordinary support

The Mayor of the Polish city, Konrad Fijołek, personally shared the news yesterday on social media, expressing his gratitude to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the honourable gesture. He also shared: “This title belongs to our residents who have been helping refugees since the first day of the war in Ukraine, collecting gifts that we transported across our eastern border. And they still go out of their way to help our neighbours.”

He further pointed out the fact that managing the considerable flow of people fleeing Ukraine could not have been possible without the cooperation between local governments – the other border towns and municipalities, such as the municipalities of Wieliczka or Ustrzyki Dolne that “were the first to take on the burden of helping refugees, and with cities and municipalities to which we relocated refugees such as Tarnów, Szczecin, and others all over Poland. Teamwork is the key to everything.”

Rzeszów, some 200 kilometres away from the city of Lviv, has been one of the focal points for war refugees from Ukraine since day 1 of the Russian invasion. The local community has swiftly mobilized to offer support – clothes, warm meals and accommodation to its neighbours, as well to establish as an info point and call centre where Ukrainian speakers provide basic information.

On the occasion of President Duda’s visit, Zelensky stated:

Before this speech, I signed a decree noting the special role of the Polish city of Rzeszów. I have introduced a special honorary title of "rescuer city" for the partner cities of our state, which today do the impossible to help us, to help our people, to help our army. On behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, I would like to express great gratitude to the city of Rzeszów, the first rescuer city".

He further praised the efforts of Polish politicians and cultural activists for the swift integration of Ukraine into the EU and invited the Rada (parliament) to expand the rights of Polish citizens in Ukraine.

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