Tributes to Smolensk victims | 40,000 PESELs issued to refugees in Pomerania | Tokarczuk shortlisted for International Booker prize | Palm Sunday celebrations in Poland | Radio Gdańsk auctions items for Ukraine

(Fot.Володимир Зеленський)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky joined other world leaders in paying tribute yesterday to the victims of the 2010 presidential plane crash in Smolensk.

“We honor the memory of the victims of the plane crash near Smolensk,” Zelensky wrote in a post on Twitter. “Today we stand in solidarity with Polish friends and allies, who stand with Ukraine against Russian aggression.”

The 12th anniversary of the tragedy was commemorated across Poland yesterday, with thousands of people taking part in a Remembrance March in Warsaw to honor the plane crash victims.

Poland’s top officials, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and parliamentary Speaker Elżbieta Witek, attended the gathering, which culminated in a speech given by Deputy Prime Minister and Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński.

Kaczyński’s twin brother, Lech Kaczyński, was president of Poland when he was killed in the crash along with his wife, First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, and 94 other Polish political and military figures.

Source: Radio Poland, Radio Gdańsk

Since opening registration on March 16, over 40,000 PESEL numbers have been given to refugees from Ukraine residing in the Pomeranian voivodeship.

Thanks to the arrival of new IT systems from the Ministry of Digitization last month, Gdańsk is now able to process up to 500 applicants a day. Similarly, the City of Gdynia estimates it can process up to 400 applicants daily at the resident service center in Riviera.

According to officials, over 700,000 PESEL numbers have been issued throughout Poland thus far, with the highest number (110,000) issued in the province of Mazowieckie.

The Polish Border Guard reports that as of yesterday, over 2.6 million people have crossed the Ukrainian border into Poland since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Source: Radio Gdańsk, Straż Graniczna

“The Books of Jacob” by Polish Nobel Prize-winning author Olga Tokarczuk has been shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious International Booker Prize.

The 900-page historical novel describes the life of an 18th-century Eastern European cult leader named Jacob Frank. The book was translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft, who also translated Tokarczuk’s novel “Bieguni” or “Flights,” which won the International Booker Prize in 2018.

Established in 2005, the International Booker Prize honors both authors and translators for works of fiction translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The winning translator and author share a prize of £50,000 (PLN 276,000).

“The Books of Jacob” is one of six books in the race for the prestigious literary award, the other being translations from Norwegian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Hindi.

The winner will be announced on May 26.

Source: Radio Poland

Catholics across Poland celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday by making palm frond arrangements and having them blessed in churches.

Some villages, such as the northeastern village of Łyse, hold annual contests for the most beautiful palm, while villagers in Lipnica Murowana try to create the tallest palm possible.

In the 63rd edition of the competition in Lipnica Murowana, record-holder Andrzej Goryl beat his rivals once again with a homemade palm arrangement rising over 25 meters (25.25m).

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week in the Christian calendar, culminating in Easter Sunday next week.

Source: Radio Poland

Radio Gdańsk is helping the “Pomorze Biega i Pomaga Ukrainie” campaign all this week by offering listeners a chance to bid on a series of collectible items.

Daily auctions will take place from Monday to Thursday (April 11-14) this week during the “Tak, Gramy na Ukrainie” program from 10:00 to 11:00. Today’s auction will include a tennis ball signed by Hubert Hurkacz, while tomorrow’s auction will feature a signed album and book of the band “Kombi.”

More information on the Siepomaga foundation and the „Pomorze Biega i Pomaga Ukrainie” campaign can be found at

Source: Radio Gdańsk


Today will be partly cloudy and cold, with a slight chance for some rain in the morning and a gentle breeze coming in from the west. Temperatures will be slightly cooler than yesterday, with a high around 8°C, or 47°F, dropping to an overnight low of 1°C or 33°F. Warmer weather and more sun are expected for tomorrow, with a chance for rain returning later in the week.

Elizabeth Peck


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