Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Zelenskyy didn't mention Volhynian slaughter, for many it was a test for Polish-Ukrainian relations

July 11 is the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Genocide in Volhynia. President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki participated in official ceremonies. 

Some political commentators expected that on the 79th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" the Ukrainian leader would refer to the Volyn crime. An apology for this crime and recognition as genocide were expected, which would be a real breakthrough in the attitude of the political leadership of Ukraine. However, that was not the case.

"This omission of the Volhynian crime by the President of Ukraine was so ostentatious that it would absolutely require a reference by the Polish authorities. Will it be so? " - wrote a columnist for the weekly 'Do Rzeczy' on Twitter.

President Zelenskiy sent to the Verkhovna Rada on Monday a draft law called "On the establishment of legal and social guarantees for the citizens of the Republic of Poland who are on the territory of Ukraine". In his speech he spoke of "trust", but not even in one word did he refer to the Volhynia massacre. The Ukrainian embassy in Poland behaved in a similar way, writing about "the memory of the innocent victims of the terrible times in Volhynia in the years 1943-1944".

A large percentage of Poles lost relatives during those "terrible times" and president Zelenskyy failed the test for future Polish-Ukrainian relations. There is already news about the disappointment of many which for certain will be used by Putin's propaganda.

Let us remind you that the Ukrainian crime in Volhynia was a mass ethnic cleansing carried out by the Ukrainian nationalists of the OUN-UPA on Poles. It was a genocide. It happened not only in Volhynia, but also in the Lviv, Tarnopol, and Stanisławów voivodeships - entire 'Eastern Galicia,' and even some of the voivodeships bordering Volhynia: Lublin (from the west) and Polesie (from the north). The drama of Poles lasted until 1945.

The exhumation of the victims of the OUN-UPA crimes has still not been carried out, as it is blocked by the Ukrainian authorities. That means many of the victims did not receive a proper burial. Poles still do not see a clear condemnation of the criminals by the Ukrainian authorities.