Radio Gdansk News in English: Russia shifts focus to Donbas, war crimes evidence mounts | 12th anniversary of Smoleńsk tragedy | „Stand Up for Ukraine” raises 9 billion euro | Lechia Gdańsk defeats Nieciecza and announces charity match with Donetsk Shakhtar

(Fot. PAP/Mykola Kalyeniak)

It’s Day 46 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As Odessa marks the 78th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi forces, current residents are bracing for a potential Russian invasion in the days ahead.

Russia’s plans to take control of the strategic Black Sea port and the entire Donbas region have become more evident after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed General Alexander Dvornikov as theater commander of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

Evidence of war crimes continues to be uncovered in the wake of the withdrawal of Russian forces from areas around Kyiv, with intercepted communications from Russian troops detailing targeted shelling of residential areas along with the deliberate murder and rape of Ukrainian civilians, including children. Polish National Prosecutor Dariusz Barski said in a media interview last week that Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania were conducting a joint investigation into alleged Russian war crimes.

According to a tweet posted yesterday by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, at least 176 children have died, and more than 324 have been injured since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Radio Poland, BBC

Air raid sirens sounded across Poland this morning to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the fatal presidential plane crash in Smolensk, western Russia.

The mayors of several cities, including Warsaw, Poznań, and Łódź, appealed to the ruling government to cancel the sirens out of concern the sound might trigger traumatic memories for refugees from Ukraine. On Saturday, Prime Minister Morawiecki responded that the siren commemoration would proceed as planned, claiming Ukrainian refugees had already been sent information via text message about the purpose of the sirens.

The Smołensk tragedy took the lives of then-President Lech Kaczyński and First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, along with 94 other Polish political and military figures.

Polish officials had been on their way to commemorate some 22,000 Polish prisoners of war and intellectuals killed in the spring of 1940 on orders from top Soviet authorities in what is known as the Katyń Massacre.

The events surrounding the Smoleńsk tragedy are still a source of bitter dispute in Poland, with a team of investigators appointed by the ruling PiS party still conducting probes into the causes of the crash.

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Radio Poland

Polish President Andrzej Duda and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were in Warsaw yesterday to participate in a special fundraising event as part of the „Stand Up for Ukraine” campaign.

According to von der Leyen, the global „Stand Up for Ukraine” campaign has raised over EUR 9.1 billion for refugee relief, adding that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) earmarked another EUR 1 billion for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yesterday’s event was the culmination of an ongoing social media campaign launched by the European Commission and the government of Canada in partnership with the international advocacy organization Global Citizen.

Addressing the gathering via a video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the courage of his fellow Ukrainians, who have shown they are „not afraid of massive missile strikes, Russian aircraft, and never-ending tank columns.”

A video message from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for „continuing support of Ukraine,” calling it „a moment where the world needs to come together, stand up for Ukraine, and stand up for our values and principles, remembering that everyone deserves to be safe.”

Source: Radio Poland

Lechia Gdańsk fans are still celebrating after defeating Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza 2-0 last night at PGE Arena in Gdańsk.

Łukasz Zwoliński started things off early with a hat-trick in the 11th minute, with team captain Flavio Paixao sealing a victory for Lechia with his goal in additional time.

The win pushes Lechia into 4th place in the Ekstraklasa league tables, ahead of Wisła Płock and behind Raków Częstochowa.

Lechia Gdańsk will host the Ukrainian football team „Shakhtar” from Donetsk this week in a charity football match.

The match will take place on Thursday, April 14, at 19:30 in Polsat Plus Arena, with all proceeds being donated to efforts to support Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

Lechia joins other Polish football clubs in hosting charity matches with their Ukrainian counterparts. Legia Warszawa will host Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday, April 12, at 20:30 Warsaw time, with proceeds going to support those internally displaced in Ukraine.

Source: Radio Gdańsk


Today will be partly cloudy and cold, with a good chance for rain showers in the morning and a strong breeze coming in from the west. Temperatures will be similar to yesterday, with a high around 9°C, or 49°F, dropping to an overnight low of 2°C or 35°F. Slightly warmer weather is expected for tomorrow, with a chance for rain returning later in the week.


Elizabeth Peck/MarWer


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