“We understand your pain after losing your dearest ones. To all families and descendants of the victims of the events in Volhynia, I express my sincere condolences and gratitude for maintaining a bright memory of your ancestors. A memory that does not call for revenge or hatred but serves as a warning that such a thing should never be repeated between our nations,” said Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk.
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“Together we will search for and restore memorial sites; together we will bring back the names of those resting in nameless graves in Ukraine and Poland. Without prohibitions and barriers. It is our common moral and Christian duty,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The Polish Foreign Minister was asked to comment on Stefanchuk’s words. “We heard what we wanted to hear. I think it was a very good speech,” he assessed, specifying that he was referring to “a review of our common relations: the past, present, and future.”
“We are on the right track, and this speech indicates the convergence of our positions once again. There is something to build upon,” he added.
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, said presidential foreign policy advisor Marcin Przydacz.
He 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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Stefanchuk expressed his immense joy at being on friendly Polish soil and emphasized that after the outbreak of war, Poland became a hospitable home for many Ukrainians.
“From the first moments of the Russian invasion, the Polish nation and the Polish state stood firmly shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, courageously and loudly proclaiming to the whole world: there is no consent to the dominance of force over law; there is no consent to the violation of the principles by which we all live,” Stefanchuk said.
“The Polish nation, our close neighbor, has shown unconditional love; the whole world is impressed by the extraordinary humanity and determination of the Poles,” added the Ukrainian politician.
He also recalled the words of Pope John Paul II, spoken in 2001 during his visit to Ukraine: “The measure of a high civilization is not only economic progress but, above all, morality and spirituality.”
Ukrainians are defending civilisational values at the cost of their lives.
Isn't this the strongest argument to finally accept 🇺🇦 into the European and Euro-Atlantic family?
The free world must realise that without Ukraine, 🇪🇺 and @NATO will never be complete. pic.twitter.com/mH0I39V0px
— Ruslan Stefanchuk (@r_stefanchuk) May 25, 2023
As Stefanchuk stated, every third Pole was, in one way or another, engaged in helping Ukraine in need. “A deep bow and sincere gratitude to you, dear Polish nation.”
On July 11 and 12, 1943, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out a coordinated attack on Polish residents in 150 villages in Volhynia. Between 1943 and 1945, approximately 100,000 Poles were killed in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia by the UPA and the local Ukrainian population. These events have gone down in history as the Volhynia Massacre.
The Volhynia Massacre 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.