Armia Krajowa vs OUN-UPA: The Polish-Ukrainian Feud Deepens

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski officially declared the revision of the Polish Ukrainian policy and the initiation of the procedure of banning Ukrainians who were caught committing radical anti-Polish acts from entering into Poland. The Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and professional falsifier of history Vladimir Vyatrovich was blacklisted.

“We are aware to what extent Ukraine is important to us from a political point of view, to what extent its independence as an essential element of the security of Poland is important for us. However, Ukrainians, having understood this, decided that … historical questions must be relegated to the second or third plan. It can’t be like that,” summarised the Polish minister.

The attempts of Kiev to equate OUN-UPA to the Polish Armia Krajowa, which was at war with it, and also the negative estimates by the Ukrainian side of the period of stay of Ukraine as a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth are unacceptable for Warsaw. On November 4th, being on a visit in Lvov, Waszczykowski demonstratively refused to visit the museum prison on Lontsky Street because a part of this exposition was devoted to crimes of the Polish occupational regime.

Warsaw wants Ukraine to remove the anti-Polish discourse from the Ukrainian State ideology, and at the same time to preserve the anti-Russian discourse. However, Kiev can’t do this: polonophobia and russophobia in essence are two ideological pillars of this regime. The fight against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth remains an integral element of Ukrainian nationalist heroics. That’s why the response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to Witold Waszczykowski was such that could be expected: Poland has no right to impose on Ukraine its own point of view.

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The fact that the constituting figures of the Ukrainian nationalist ideology (Shukhevych, Bandera, etc.) are inveterate polonophobes also plays its role. The refusal of their glorification, which Poland tries to achieves, would mean the recognition of Warsaw’s correctness in long historical disputes concerning the Polish State idea and Ukrainian separatism from the times of the Russian Empire and the newest Ukrainian independence. And if it is like this, it means that the “Ukrainian Piedmont” (the pretentious name of Galicia, which was turned into the center of the Ukrainian nationalist movement) is a historical deviation, and not a norm; a crime, and not an achievement.

Kiev imagined that Poland, for the sake of continuing its anti-Russian course, will reconcile with the existence of any Ukraine, even if it’s radically nationalist on all fronts. However, Poland needs a nationalist Ukraine as a tool to pressure Russia, more precisely – a tool that is obedient and controlled. This tool shouldn’t have polonophobic pointedness.

But in Ukraine everything heads in this direction. After the explosion of a grenade near the Polish consulate in Lvov (October, 2015) and the attack from a grenade launcher on the consulate of Poland in Lutsk (March, 2017) Polish tourists were threatened with physical reprisal for symbols of Armia Krajowa on t-shirts by the Lvov office of the “Svoboda” party, and the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Anatoly Vitiv promised Poland a fourth partition! Poland hasn’t had such strained relations with its “euro-integrated” neighbor in a long time.

The fact itself of the introduction by Poland of the term “anti-Polish activity” concerning Ukraine is noteworthy. Kiev signed the agreement on association with the European Union and endeavours to enter NATO, but the development of deep contradictions with its neighbors in Europe doesn’t guarantee this for the Kiev regime. Here the accruing aggravation of Ukrainian-Polish relations and the growth of centrifugal tendencies in the European community are interweaved.

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Kiev already came far in the conflict with one of the members of this community – Hungary. After the adoption of the law “On Education” by the Verkhovna Rada, which significantly limited the possibilities of education in the languages of ethnic minorities, Budapest, being afraid for the destiny of Ukrainian Hungarians (150,000 people), threatened to block all initiatives that are significant for Ukraine at the international level.

And Poland itself prepared the raising of polonophobia in the Ukrainian environment. In Poland the flow of migrants from the “Ukrainian Piedmont” led to a sharp increase in livestock-carriers of the ideology of Bandera and Shukhevych. In 2016 in Poland there were 1.3 million Ukrainians, and by the end of 2018 their quantity can increase to 2 million. This turns Poland from a monoethnic State into a multiethnic one, where Ukrainians are the second most numerous group of the population after Poles. And Poles remember how in inter-war Poland, where the number of Ukrainians was also impressive, Ukrainian nationalists launched a terrorist war against the Polish government.

The events of the end of the 20th century led to the falling away of Ukraine-Malorossiya from the united-with-Russia State space, and today we clearly see that this created stubborn problems for the neighbors of independent Ukraine, and this turns Ukraine into an aggressive carrier of the virus of destructive nationalist ideology.

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