Estonian task force unit in Poland concludes deployment with ceremony for Katyn victims

  • 2022-04-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Wisent 4, a task force unit of the Estonian defense forces that has been strengthening border protection structures in eastern Poland for nearly a month, concluded its deployment with a ceremony in the town of Wlodawa, in which the victims of the massacre of Poles by Russian forces in Katyn were also commemorated.

In addition to the mayor of Wlodawa, the memorial service for the victims of the Katyn massacre was attended by state and municipal officials, members of the Polish defense forces, internal security units, the president of the victims' relatives' association and the commander of the Estonian contingent, Lt. Col. Andres Rekker.

Speeches were followed by the laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial. The association of the relatives of the victims of the Katyn massacre in Wlodawa granted the Wisent 4 task force the status of a honorary member, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.

"It is very important not to forget the Katyn massacre and other war crimes," Wlodawa Mayor Wieslaw Muszynski said at the memorial event. "Who would have believed that 82 years later mass murders would still be committed in our neighboring country? Estonians remember with us, and as proof of that, you are here today, and I thank you deeply for that," the mayor said. 

"We stand here to commemorate the Polish soldiers who were savagely killed by the Red Army in Katyn in 1940. The Russians did not acknowledge this war crime for over half a century, just as they do not acknowledge the war crimes committed in Ukraine now. But truth always triumphs over lies," Rekker, the commander of the Estonian task force, said.

The latest Estonian task force unit, made up of about 50 active-duty personnel and reservists, arrived in Poland on March 15. During the period of deployment, the Estonian infantry platoon helped to clean up and strengthen border protection facilities in a section of almost 5.5 kilometers. In addition, culverts were built and the roads needed to guard the border were repaired. An Estonian camera team supported the 18th Mechanized Division of Poland by collecting photo and video material on the activities of the Polish and Estonian units.