|UPA Veteran carrying Stepan Bandera portrait|
December 31, 2014
Translated from Polish by J. Hawk
Andriy Sadoviy, who is both the Mayor of Lvov and the leader of the Samopomoga party which is part of the ruling coalition, wants to recognize the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as a combatant entity that participated in World War II.
“We remember heroes. Every month our city pays each UPA veteran 1,000 hryvnia and will continue to do so. We must remember our heroes, both the current ones and those who fought for our statehood in the last century” – said the Mayor of Lvov, Andriy Sadoviy.
Sadoviy claims that UPA veterans ought to be honored not only by his city but also the Ukrainian government itself. At present UPA veterans living in Lvov, their widows, and former political prisoners receive a variety of discounts. There are 500 UPA veterans currently living in Lvov.
The UPA is responsible for carrying out the genocide of the Polish population of Eastern Ukraine, during which an estimated 100,000-150,000 Poles were murdered.
One of the ironies of the current Polish foreign policy is that, in the pursuit of a stridently anti-Russian policy, it is turning a blind eye to the growth of power and influence among genuinely anti-Polish movements in Western Ukraine, movements which might one day claim territories which are currently on the Polish side of the border. The armed forces of socialist Poland fought a counter-insurgency campaign against the UPA in Eastern Poland, which resulted in the remnants of the ethnic Ukrainian population there being “ethnically cleansed”, or resettled to parts of Western Poland seized from Germany as part of the Potsdam agreements. One can still see abandoned Ukrainian villages in southeastern Poland. Should the current Ukrainian government ever truly stand on its two feet, it will surely revisit this chapter of Polish-Ukrainian relations.