MPs ask Polish Sejm to recognize Volyn tragedy as genocide

5 July 2013 15:47
KYIV (QHA) - 148 Ukrainian people's deputies who represented mostly the ruling Regions Party and their coalitionist Communist Party ask the Polish Sejm to recognize the Volyn tragedy as genocide of the Polish people.
A statement of the Verkhovna Rada MPs to deputies of the Polish Sejm and to Marshall Ewa Kopacz reads, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
“We ask you, the deputies of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, to support the Senate decision and to recognize the Volyn OUN-UPA massacre as genocide against the Polish population and to condemn criminal actions of Ukrainian nationalists,” the document says.
The Ukrainian parliamentarians believe that different interpretation of the Volyn crime “drives a wedge between the two countries.”
“Development of strengthening of the Ukrainian-Polish friendship is impossible, if to bury the memory of hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens - Belarusians, Poles, Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians, all those who perished in the Volyn massacre,” the statement reads.
The people's deputies say that the initiative of the Poles on the issue is timely and note that due to xenophobic and neo-Nazi sentiments Ukrainians have no way of knowing the truth about the Volyn tragedy.
“Xenophobic, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi sentiments are growing in Ukraine. Their representatives are in the Verkhovna Rada today. They actively use the parliamentary rostrum for propaganda of these views. All this is a result of the fact that the people of Ukraine do not know the truth about those terrible events,” the Ukrainian MPs believe.
The Polish Sejm continues to debate the text of the resolution on the 70th anniversary of the Volyn crime. MPs cannot agree on a definition of the tragedy: politicians representing right-wing conservative parties insist on the word "genocide" in the text of the document, and the liberal Civic Platform offers only an "ethnic cleansing with signs of genocide."
The Volyn tragedy is a mutual ethnic cleansing of Ukrainian and Polish population in 1943-1944, mainly in Volyn, involving the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Polish Armia Krajowa. Polish sources say there were 100,000-130,000 civilian Polish casualties and 5,000-15,000 Ukrainians. Meanwhile, Ukrainian sources claim at least tens of thousands of Poles killed and more than 10,000 Ukrainians. The Polish side blames solely OUN/UPA for the killing of civilians, while Ukraine insists that both sides are responsible for these crimes.