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Prince William shows support for Ukraine with surprise visit to Poland

Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, attend the St.Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2022, in Aldershot, England. (Stephen Lock/i-Images/Zuma Press/TNS)

Prince William showed his support for war-torn Ukraine on Wednesday with an unannounced trip to neighboring Poland, where he met with members of the British and Polish militaries.

William visited the capital city of Warsaw, as well as Rzeszow, a city near the Ukraine border that has accommodated Ukrainian refugees and helped ship aid packages into the country.

“I’m here because I want to personally thank the Polish and British troops working in close and crucial partnership,” William said in a statement, according to CNN. “I also want to pay tribute to the inspiring humanity of the Polish people. You have opened your hearts as much as your homes.”

“That’s why this afternoon I visited Rzeszow to hear their stories and recognize their duty,” he added. “I was struck by their passion as well as their shared determination to defend our shared freedoms.”

William, a former pilot with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force, plans to meet Thursday with Polish President Andrzej Duda and with Ukrainians living in Poland.

Britain — where William, 40, is next in line to the throne — has sent more than $2.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country 13 months ago.

William’s visit comes a month after President Biden made a surprise stop in Ukraine, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, ahead of a scheduled trip to Poland.

“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Biden said during the Ukraine trip, which took place days before the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”


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