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On Tuesday, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage called on the Ukrainian government to recognize the genocide committed by its country during World War II.
According to the statement made by Poland's Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage Jaroslaw Sellin on Tuesday, the mass murder committed by the Ukrainian government during the Second World War matches the concept of genocide. The Polish official considers that Kiev's administration has to acknowledge it.
"They have to acknowledge it because it's a fact. It's simply a fact. A political decision was made and implemented for ethnic cleansing, the extermination of the entire national minority that has lived there for centuries," said a Polish diplomat.
"This is genocide, it fits all the parameters of the definition of genocide, so there is no discussion here. This is a historical fact. Sooner or later, the Ukrainians will have to recognize it," Sellin.
According to Polish historians, between 100,000-130,000 ethnic Poles were massacred by Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). By 2016, the Polish parliament issued a resolution designating July 11 as a day for commemorating the genocide, alluding to the date when the UPA attacked 150 Polish towns in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. In turn, the Ukrainian government denounced the resolution as counterproductive.
Ukraine will sooner or later have to recognize the fact of the genocide of the Poles during the Volyn massacre in 1943, said Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland Yaroslav Selin.
Poland's administration has drafted a proposal for a joint working group for finding mass graves and performing exhumations to give proper burials and commemorating the dead. Sellin said the collective working group members' list was sent to the Ministry of Culture in Kiev.
"We are waiting for a personnel proposal from the Ukrainian side," said the Polish official.
Warsaw considers a problem the fact that Kiev glorifies the UPA as Ukrainian nationalists who fought against the Soviet Union; at the same time, they ignore things like the genocide committed against Poles. Sellin said that Poland's task is to build a common historical truth.
He continued to say that Ukrainians will "sooner or later come to the point where part of the traditions of this military formation and the nationalist political movements behind it are unacceptable, worthy of condemnation."