Poland turns on Ukraine
By Fr Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski
Translated from Polish by J.Hawk
Sejm Deputy Marcin Swiecicki (formerly of Polish United Workers’ Party, currently the Citizens’ Platform) noted on his facebook page that yesterday’s meeting of the Polish-Ukrainian Parliamentary Assembly also witnessed a significant event. Law and Justice deputies demanded that Ukrainian participants condemn the 1943 Volhyn Massacre and apologize for it. However, Ukraine’s representatives did not want to agree to include language in the joint document that would condemn genocide perpetrated by OUN-UPA and SS Galizien in Wolhyn, Lublin region, and Transcarpathia. As a result Law and Justice deputies left the meeting.
“We have definitively shown this is a high priority for us. We can’t imagine, in the context of our eventual coming to power, that we wouldn’t discuss the Volhyn Massacre,” said Deputy Jan Dziedziczak, adding “The Volhyn Massacre was a terrifying genocide, so much so that one can’t place it in some kind of a context. We don’t agree to treating it in that way. And we have also demonstrated that the policy of avoiding and downgrading the Volhyn Massacre is coming to an end. Our position is unequivocal. Law and Justice deputies also tried to convince deputies of other parties to take a firm position. Unfortunately, Citizens’ Platform deputies, as well as members of other parties, disagreed. Their approach is very favorable to Ukraine, and harmful to Poland.”
This is remarkable inasmuch Kaczynski’s party until recently held a very “soft” position on that matter. Moreover, some of Law and Justice activists were “flirting” with Ukrainian nationalists, both during the Yushchenko presidency and the current Poroshenko presidency. Pawel Kowal, in particular, has been agitating in favor of an alliance with the nationalists, being their “quasi-ambassador” both in Warsaw and in Brussels. Today he is no longer with Law and Justice, but he is still actively lobbying the president-elect. Other examples of the former policy are the “working visits” (paid for by whom?) by deputies Malgorzata Gosiewska and Piotr Pyzik to the so-called “volunteer battalions” on the Donbass which have adopted the criminal ideology of OUN-UPA. Not to mention the many orders and decorations awarded by Ukraine to many members of Law and Justice and its unofficial media outlet, the Gazeta Polska (including its chief editor Tomasz Sakiewicz), which they’ve accepted without scruples. And that at a time when Ukraine is officially glorifying the murderers of Poles and other nationalities. Moreover, anyone who opposed these policies were labeled as “Russian agents” and “traitors.”
These policies caused dissatisfaction and profound disappointment among the eastern frontier (Kresy) community, the families of UPA and SS Galizien victims, and the patriotic and veteran organizations which supported the Kaczynski brothers in 2005. Many of them have stopped voting for Law and Justice as a result, transferring their votes to Pawel Kukiz, the son of an indomitable Kresy veteran. What is more, recently Kukiz decisively cut himself off from supporting nationalist Ukraine, even though he made an appearance on the Maidan.
If the recent event in the Polish Sejm suggests a change in the Law and Justice eastern policy, it’s a good thing, though it’s too bad it comes so late. One hopes that Beata Szydlo, who is being proposed for the post of Prime Minister, and who has not been noted for cozying up to the neo-banderites, will continue that policy in the future. Independent of whether the President-Elect Andrzej Duda’s ear will have the supporters of the so-called “Jerzy Giedroyc myth” [the proponent of the restoration of Poland as it existed in the 17th century].
J.Hawk’s Comment: It is long in coming, though I suspect it was inevitable. Law and Justice is a fundamentally euroskeptic party rather similar to Fidesz in Hungary, except that it views the US as its main ally. I doubt it will make a pro-Russian “pivot” in the foreseeable future due to the disagreement over Ukraine and the future trajectory of the EU, though it can’t be entirely ruled out since Viktor Orban is something of a role model for them. But the prospect of a Polish government pursuing a hard line policy against Ukrainian nationalists is yet another blow to Ukraine’s eurointegrators who don’t seem to have realized (or realized, but didn’t care) that their “the ends justify the means” policy of recruiting neo-Nazis to “europeanize” Ukraine was going to eventually backfire.