24 October 2016

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Decision of Polish Parliament is a historic misunderstanding – Ukrainian historian

In the wake of the voting in Polish Sejm (lower chamber of Polish Parliament) on recognizing the Volhynia massacre as genocide, Ukraine Today spoke to prominent Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Viatrovych about politicizing Ukrainian-Polish conflict in 1943 and the ways to reconcile both nations.

"Russian propaganda and Russian agents play an important role in keeping stirring up confrontation around this issue. And Russians will be the first ones to benefit from the deterioration of Ukrainian-Polish relations. And I really hope that the time will come, when Polish politicians will realize that right now, as back in 1943, there will be only one party to benefit from this conflict. And as in Polish Sejm labels Volyn killings "genocide"1943 this party will be Russia," said Viatrovych, according to Ukraine Today.

He said that the current Polish authorities put these historical issues on the agenda despite the fact that these discussions “harm Ukrainian-Polish relations a lot and may hinder all previous achievements of the political relations between Ukraine and Poland.”

By seeking to recognize the anti-Polish activities of the Ukrainian resurrection army as genocide, they draw a picture of “totally incorrect one-sided responsibility of the Ukrainians for this conflict.” Vyatroych added that thus they are “also hiding the crimes of Polish resistance movement against Ukrainians."

Poroshenko comments on Polish Sejm labeling Volyn tragedy "genocide"He added that 380 documents were published recently that show various sides of Polish-Ukrainian conflict. They also tell of cooperation between the two sides, negotiations and even joint activities of Polish and Ukrainian insurgent movements. “Obviously, there's a lot to be done here in Ukraine for our people to know more about Ukrainian history and about various aspects of Ukrainian-Polish relations,” he said.

"Very often historic information in Poland is shortened, simplified and sensationalized for the media to pick it up and spread around. Very often a very complex historic event was presented in very simple terms. Therefore, the Polish people formed their opinion about this conflict not based on the historic facts, but rather based on the tabloid media, based on short TV stories, which obviously cannot explain comprehensively everything that happened,” the historian said.

See’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.

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