Poland’s new president demands Ukraine disavow UPA

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Poland’s new president demands Ukraine strip UPA of hero status


By Varyag-2007

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk


The election of Poland’s new president spells big problems for Ukraine. The issue is “de-heroization” of OUN-UPA militants whom Ukraine just recently granted the status of the liberators of Europe from fascism. But unlike Komorowski, who forgave the Ukrainian heroes the Volhyn Massacre in which the Banderites slaughtered over 200 thousand Poles, the conservative Duda does not intend to sacrifice his principles.

Even Ukraine’s ambassador to Poland and the former Maidan head of the MFA Deshchitsa, known for his loud rendition of “Putin — f***head” in front of the Russian embassy, admitted that “Duda’s election means UPA-related problems for Ukraine.”

“Ukraine will receive support from Andrzej Duda, who won the presidential election in Poland, but only after resolving matters of contention related to history, especially the assessment of the activities of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA),” the amassador said dejectedly. He believes that Poland will raise the UPA issue more energetically.

“I think that Andrzej Duda understands the situation in Ukraine. He said that many times in his public appearances during the campaign, and also during televised debates. Duda spoke in favor of Ukraine’s eurointegration, of its EU membership. But we have to keep in mind that Duda is a member of the traditionalist and conservative political establishment. Therefore historical conflicts will be on the agenda in our relationship. Especially when it comes to UPA.”

 

Therefore in the immediate future the Ukrainian parliament will have to reconsider UPA’s role in WW2 and rewrite the law on the historical mission of Bandera’s followers that was so ostentatiously adopted. Poland will not talk to official Kiev unless that happens. With that in mind, Poroshenko already promised to change the “UPA law” and de-heroize the glorious warriors of Stepan Bandera. Otherwise Kiev will not see any Polish humanitarian or military aid, the creation of the joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade in order to inculcate NATO standards, reform implementation assistance, and the financial modernization of infrastructure on the Polish-Ukrainian border. In general, things are returning to normal: Ukraine is trading in its UPA heroes for zlotys and euros. 


J.Hawk’s Comment: Not so fast. I’m not so sure that Duda wants to do any of the things described above. One of the major reasons Duda won is the defection of the rural voters, whose average income declined by 14% in 2014 in large measure due to Russian food embargo. Since Duda knows on which side his bread is buttered (no pun intended), deep down he also realizes the importance of that embargo lifting. His UPA criticism may well be only an excuse, a pretext to allow himself to maneuver out of his election campaign pro-Ukraine position while saving face. Because, ultimately, what is the likelihood that the Rada will actually pass a law that “de-heroizes” UPA to a sufficient degree? And even if it does, will Bandera monuments start disappearing from Lvov and other parts of Western Ukraine?

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