We bred Ukrainian insolence ourselves

– Friendship between nations cannot be decreed - I have been reminding you of this from the moment, while in the Polish elite, especially from the president, mentions of some form of a deep and renewed Polish-Ukrainian alliance began to appear. If we look today at the state of mutual relations - the real ones, which are reflected in the polls, not the official ones, which the rulers are trying to impose in pompous speeches - this does not give the slightest basis for making such plans. The events of the last several dozen hours are a drastic confirmation of this.

So that we can talk about a true and deep covenant, there must be a basis for this in the form of will on the part of both nations. Otherwise, such a structure will rot and fall apart from the inside. At the moment, there is nothing permanent between Poles and Ukrainians. The sympathies declared in the polls are not the result of a long-term rapprochement and working through differences and conflicts, but a momentary and doubtful emotion, to stand the test of time. Even the momentary ones are not that deep, at least on the Polish side. In a March poll, CBOS asked Poles about their sympathy towards nations. The study clearly reflects emotions, not rational thoughts. This can be seen, for example, in the drastic decline in sympathy for Hungarians, who, as a nation, have not changed their attitude towards Poles. It is rather an echo of the huge Polish Russophobia.
Ukrainians - surprisingly - yes, they were promoted, and that's all 10 points, but not that high, as might be expected, because only on 6. place with 51 proc. declaring sympathy (i 17 proc. reluctance). The Americans are ahead of them, but that's obvious, but also Italians, English, Slovaks, Czechs. Like a nation, that we supposedly loved, it's a bit weak though.

The biggest problem in the symbolic sphere, yet strongly shaping the mutual relations of nations, is the memory of Volhynia. 11 July this year 80. anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The Ukrainians brutally murdered Poles for their nationality alone 99 towns, therefore, we were dealing - of course not only on that day - with an act that met the criteria of genocide.

There is no space here for a detailed description of this, what happened around this tragedy in the last several months. I'll just do it with a password.

Filled with the conviction of the historic mission, the authorities in Poland decided, that Volhynia should be marginalized as much as possible (this is particularly visible in the speeches of Andrzej Duda), and to people reminding him to use the rhetoric of "onucism". It was the standard message, that the Russians use the motif of Volhynia to sow Polish-Ukrainian unrest.

The latter may be, by the way, partly true. In that case, however, the only way to settle this problem once and for all would be to reach some form of agreement with Ukraine on this matter.

We did not receive the slightest gesture from the Ukrainian side. President Zelensky did not mention a single word about the Volhynia crime in his speech with 11 July 2022 r. Nor did he refer to it in any of his other public appearances, including during a visit to Poland. We had to do with the promotion of the former ambassador to Germany, Andrija Melnyka, full-time defender of Bandera mythology, extremely hostile to Poland, for the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was not met with any form of official protest from the Polish authorities.

The Polish side in the case of Volhynia was also silent. The president spoke in general terms about "difficult moments", while at the same time weaving his visions of "no border" between our countries, a 11 July last year, he organized a famous scolding of borderland communities, present at the celebrations, admonishing their representatives with Fr. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski at the helm, to "weigh words". During President Zelensky's visit to Poland, Andrzej Duda was also silent about Volhynia. It was only mentioned by Prime Minister Morawiecki in passing during a press conference, hinting, that he was talking to the Ukrainian guest about this matter. However, as it turned out, he accomplished little.

In an interview published yesterday on the Onet portal, MFA spokesman Łukasz Jasina answered questions about the anniversary 11 July. His words were diplomatic, but at the same time they contained accurate observations: there will always be an argument, that "it's a bad time", and, that there should be an apology from the Ukrainian side.

(A word of explanation here: against it, what appeared yesterday in the media confusion and what I also duplicated - Łukasz Jasina did not post on Twitter demanding an apology from the Ukrainian president - it was only a text with a quote from the interview. Therefore, none of the MFA spokesperson's titles have been removed. I apologize for this error.)

Soon after Yasina's statement on Twitter, Vasyl Zwarycz, the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, referred to her, writing: "Any attempt to impose on the President of Ukraine or Ukraine what we must about our common past is unacceptable and unfortunate.. We remember history and call for respect and balance in statements, especially in the difficult realities of genocidal Russian aggression”. This statement was probably not the initiative of the ambassador himself, but she appeared at the behest of his principals. Let's not forget, that Mr. Melnyk is the deputy minister in the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Soon, the portal wPolityce published a short statement by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk, who was kind enough to tell: “We should not look for problems by force. Now is not the time to look for relationship problems, let's focus on that instead, to support Ukraine.

So many dry facts. What is the conclusion?

Starting from the Polish side - the procrastination of the Polish authorities, especially Mr. President, in conjunction with contraction (there is no other way to call it) vision of a great Polish-Ukrainian community, is embarrassing for them. It is simply an incitement to a coercive alliance between nations, built on a lie. And also an unforgivable thing in the case of a head of state: leaving a group of citizens with their suffering – often quite personal – to fend for themselves. It's an attitude, which PiS himself fiercely criticized from his political opponents.

Wawrzyk's statement in this context completely discredits him. I would expect, that a person commenting on the words of Mr. Ambassador Zwarycz in this way will not be Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for a day longer. I know though, that is a vain expectation. A large part of the Polish elite, led by Andrzej Duda, but also Jarosław Kaczyński, it is enmeshed already on the purely psychological level by the belief in its historical mission, and that creates the motivation to marginalize all of them, who stand in the way of its implementation.

Mr. President will face a huge image challenge this year. 11 July, when celebrations commemorating Bloody Sunday will take place in Poland, Andrzej Duda will shine during the first day of the NATO summit in Vilnius, where, as he himself announces, he will be the main advocate of covering Ukraine with some form of allied guarantees. To say, that's dissonance, it doesn't say anything. Of course, one can also look for fulfilling the expectations of our most important allies, but i dare say, that the psychological factor on the part of the Polish ruling elite is of predominant importance here.

What can we conclude from the attitude of the Ukrainian side?

Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has been playing hard and ruthlessly pragmatically - which I have written many times and which I sincerely admire. I have no grievances against Kiev in connection with their attitude, because that would be childish. Each country should pursue its own best interests. The problem is that, that one can have serious doubts about Poland here.

The age-old principle of international relations, on the other hand, says:, this is how you play with your partner, as he allows it. The Ukrainians play with us exactly like that, how they see and feel, that they can. Since from the very beginning of the war we assure them, that they have everything from us unconditionally, that we want nothing in return, we don't set any conditions, we show, that the Polish state suppresses any dissenting voices on this matter and that we are able to regularly jeopardize our own interest in the name of helping Ukraine - why should we be treated differently than like a pushover?

I am still an opponent of making current political issues conditional on solving a historical problem, what is the Volyn crime (I know, that this differs me from some critics of Polish-Ukrainian relations). Still, I'm starting to notice, how closely these issues intertwine. And we should start drawing serious conclusions from this. If for the Ukrainian side there is some form of settling this matter, I am not talking about an apology, but above all about the exhumations and burial of the victims - turns out to be insurmountable, this is not a coincidence. It reflects the meaning, that the OUN-UPA mythology has in Ukraine. And here, Unfortunately, there was no process at all, which I was also hoping for: this mythology has not been replaced by the new mythology of the current war, on the contrary, it was glued to it and integrated into it. The leadership of the Ukrainian state does not want to make any concessions to Poland, because he sees, that it would incur a large internal cost in doing so. And this should immediately sober up the romantics on the Vistula.

There are also conclusions about the general situation. The leadership of the Polish state committed a gigantic one, strategic mistake: gave it all in the first year, whatever could be given, completely unconditionally, leaving no means of pressure in his hand. You can't get them now, which the Hungarians, for example, use without problems - that is, for example, refraining from supporting sanctions - without completely losing face. At this point, other bidders are popping up around Ukraine, primarily Germany, coming ready-made, and they say: “Now we have the money, Poland has nothing and will give you nothing. make them". I Ukraine, extremely pragmatic, that's exactly what it does.

I blame it, that we found ourselves in this situation, not only the power elite bears – let me repeat: with the president, the main architect of this crazy course, at the forefront - but also many commentators and other participants in public life, from the very beginning pushing the utopian story of the Great Community. Fortunately, I have a perfectly clear conscience on this matter.

Finally, I remember, that the plan to sign a new Polish-Ukrainian treaty is still valid, supposedly a landmark treaty. What is supposed to be in it and what this breakthrough is supposed to consist of - we do not know, because the authorities decided to keep their plans in the strictest confidence. Interesting, what will surprise us.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
A password has not been entered
Password generation
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x