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Vladimir Klitschko receiving the honorary citizenship of Warsaw, on behalf of his brother, Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, Source: Capital City of Warsaw

Warsaw grants honorary citizenship to the Mayor of Kyiv

Warsaw grants honorary citizenship to the Mayor of Kyiv

Vitali Klitschko promised that his fellow citizens will “defend democracy, stability and security of the whole of Europe against the barbaric Russian invasion”

Yesterday, 31 July, at a solemn session of the City Council, the City of Warsaw awarded honorary citizenship and awards to Polish citizens and foreigners, for their merits and outstanding achievements. Dominated by the heavy presence of the war in Ukraine, the ceremony offered its highest recognition to the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.

Greatest honours for defending freedom and democracy

The ceremonial session of the local parliament took place on the eve of the 78th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising - a massive act of resistance to the Nazi occupation. But unlike any other year of the remembrance of the tragic events, this time the ceremony also referred to the occupation that is shaking Poland's eastern neighbour, Ukraine.

That is why the ceremony was also a reflection of the contemporary war through the lenses of the past and its implication for the people of Ukraine and Poland. As the city website informs, the event began with the performance of the two national anthems, while photographs from Warsaw and Ukrainian towns affected by the armed conflicts were displayed.

“The moment is special. We always gather before the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising to remember this event. We never expected, however, that the message of the Uprising would be so relevant, that there would be a war beyond our eastern border and the images we know from history would return,” Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw was quoted as saying.

“We cannot go over these events. Our task is to remember and help, in the name of all the values ​​for which the Warsaw insurgents once died, and today the insurgents from Ukraine are dying,” he added.

During the celebration, medals and diplomas with the title of Honorary Citizen of the Capital City of Warsaw were awarded to several people. This year, the title was awarded to the former president of the Polish capital for 12 years, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, and the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.

While thanking for the honour, the latter said that it was in “recognition of the heroic attitude of all Kievians and the courage of the entire Ukrainian nation, who repels the invasion of Russian barbarians”. He also confirmed that the Ukrainians have not surrendered and will never give up on their right to freedom, the right to live in a free and democratic country, but also for the stability and security of the whole of Europe.

Klitschko also thanked the Poles for helping Ukraine and its citizens during the ongoing conflict. The distinction with the title of Honorary Citizen was collected on his behalf by his brother, Vladimir Klitschko.

In addition to the honorary citizenship, 36 Awards of the Capital City of Warsaw were also presented to natural persons, as well as to organizations and initiatives that have acted for the benefit of the city and its inhabitants.

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