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Truth about massacre crucial for Polish-Ukrainian relations says aide

Mateusz Marek/PAP

The truth about a series of wartime massacres of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists is crucial to the establishment of the best possible Polish-Ukrainian relations, the foreign policy advisor to the Polish president has said.

Between 1943 and 1945 around 100,000 Poles were killed by Ukrainian forces in areas that are now in western Ukraine and eastern Poland.

The Volhynia Massacre, as the killing is referred to, still casts a shadow over relations between Poland and Ukraine despite the close bond between the two countries formed by last year’s invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Last week Lukasz Jasina, a deputy foreign minister, said that President Duda expects an official Ukrainian apology.

But speaking ahead of commemorations to mark the official 80th anniversary of the massacre, Marcin Przydacz, the head of the International Policy Bureau of the president’s office, said: “The historical dialogue between Poland and Ukraine is not easy. And it has not been easy for many years,” adding that “the truth about the Volhynia massacre is important and crucial for arranging the best Polish-Ukrainian relations for the future.”

Przydacz added that “the president expects a constructive dialogue in this regard and the construction of lasting foundations for Polish-Ukrainian relations based on historical truth.” 

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