Genocide of the Polish population in the West of Ukraine during the World War II and the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire during the World War I were identical in essence and by severity. Poland Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Jerzy Nowakowski made such statement at a press conference in Yerevan on May 4 in response to EADaily’s question about Poland’s attitude to official glorification of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fighters who committed ethnic purges in the West of Ukraine during the WWII.
“In Poland they are extremely critical about the fact that the Ukrainian government has glorified the Insurgent Army fighters that committed the genocide of the Polish population in Volhynia – the West of Ukraine – during the WWII”. President of Poland has also expressed his negative stand on the given issue while visiting Kiev recently. The Polish press has also repeatedly addressed the issue blaming the Polish authorities for insufficiently hard line on the issue, Ambassador Nowakowski said. “I’d like to say that both the massacre of the Polish population in Volhynia and the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were genocides and were identical in essence and by severity. The only difference of the crimes committed by the Insurgent Army and the Young Turks is in the scales,” the ambassador said.
The diplomat thinks Poland has no tangible influence on the policy of the Kiev leadership. “Ukraine is a sovereign state. Every nation has a right to choose its heroes, and we cannot exert any serious pressure on the Ukraine leadership to make them change their choice. It is the internal affair of Ukraine,” the ambassador said recommending Ukraine to “look into the mirror after adopting such decisions.”
As regards the prospects of Ukraine’s integration into Europe considering the civil war in the country, deep economic crisis, the growing national-radical extremism, repression of dissent and freedom of speech, and, finally, glorification of the persons who committed crimes against humanity, Ambassador Nowakowski said Ukraine has signed the political part of the EU Association Agreement and further integration of Ukraine depends on its ability to change its “appearance” and meet the European values. “For instance, Turkey expressed desire to receive the status of a European country yet 50 years ago. However, this has not happened by present,” the diplomat said. He is sure that the images of both the states do not meet the European ideals.
EADaily reported earlier that on April 9, Ukraine parliament acknowledged the activity of OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Insurgent Army) as fight for independence of Ukraine and provided then with social guarantees. The Supreme Rada also passed a bill condemning the communist regime in Ukraine.
In the spring of 1943, Ukraine’s Insurgent Army launched armed attacks against the Polish population of Volhynia, Polesye, and Eastern Galicia to exterminate them from the given territory. Estimated 50,000 Poles were killed by the insurgent army then.