Polish PM opposes ban on search for Polish victims of conflicts in Ukraine

The Polish prime minister opposes official Ukrainian attempts to “unjustifiably” ban searches for the graves of Polish victims of conflicts and repressions in Ukraine, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who spoke to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a Saturday security conference in Munich, said Ukrainian authorities had blocked Polish researchers from carrying out exhumations and “dignified” burials of Poles, which had “deeply affected bilateral relations between the two countries”.

An official from Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) last year said Ukraine blocked a team of Poles from searching for the remains of Polish victims of crimes in that country, including the so-called Volhynia Massacre.

Between March 1943 and the end of 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out genocidal killings in Nazi German-occupied Poland, according to Poland’s IPN, which is charged with prosecuting crimes against the Polish nation.

The IPN said some 100,000 Poles died in the massacres, mainly women and children as men had already been subjected to mass deportations and repressions both by Soviet and Nazi authorities by the time the massacres started.

Meanwhile, some 10-12,000 Ukrainians were killed in revenge attacks by Poles by the spring of 1945, the IPN said.

The Polish prime minister’s office said that Morawiecki and Poroshenko also exchanged views on the security situation in Donbass and on the energy security of the region in view of the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

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