Poland’s hybrid war against Ukraine has begun, is it?
For the past 15 years, Ukrainian society and expert environment have lived with illusions, reducing the radicalism and scale of anti-Ukrainian sentiment in Poland.
Their first major splash happened in 2003, at the time of the anniversary of the Volhynian events of 1943. In Ukraine, it was believed that that was the case of exclusively certain radical political circles, marginal politicians of Poland, who thus wanted to increase their own recognition and authority among their environment.
Today, we are talking about statements by Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski (who said that Lviv is Polish – Ed.), President Andrzej Dudy (who stated that there are people who have anti-Polish views on very important positions in Ukraine – Ed.) and dozens of deputies of the Polish parliament.
If you look at Polish journalism, the press, the Internet and the blog sphere, and also pay attention to the mood of ordinary Polish citizens, it becomes clear that the great-power Polish nationalism with a strong core of chauvinism and anti-Ukrainianism is now a normal phenomenon. Similar sentiments in Poland are dominant among the authorities. The phenomenon of anti-Ukrainians, unfortunately, is common and widespread in Poland.
What can this situation mean? The script resembles events in the Crimea of the 2000s and eastern Ukraine during the last 25 years. The Ukrainian intelligence and law enforcement agencies first closed their eyes to what was happening. Then they became, in fact, the accomplices of separatist processes. And when it came to a critical moment in 2014, they actually betrayed Ukraine.
Poland does not hide its ambiguous intentions towards western Ukraine. First, create positions of influence, then formulate territorial claims. Today, claims apply only to Polish churches in Lviv, and tomorrow it may concern Lviv as a whole.
The restitution of church property is preceded by the restitution of private and state property. In fact, similar claims can be voiced by successors of Polish citizens who lived in Lviv region, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ternopil region, Rivne region and Volyn region until 1939. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of acres of land, hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of premises, which at that time were Polish, since Poland occupied western Ukraine from 1918 to 1939.
But any claims are unsubstantiated, because Polish state of that days ceased to exist in 1939. The legal basis absolutely equals to zero. Nevertheless, this is a clear violation of the sovereignty and attitude of doubting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Poland recognized our country in 1991, but now there is a rollback to the situation, the status quo, uncertain for 1939.
At the moment, the preparation of claims to Ukraine in the spiritual sphere is underway. Similarly, Ukraine may put forward claims to more than 500 Ukrainian churches that were captured in Poland during 1945-1947 when the preparation and implementation of the Vistula operation took place. We have grounds to put forward same claims to the Polish authorities.
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has a very weak position. We do not hear the position of the ambassador of Ukraine in Warsaw. Oddly, his cadence coincided with the unprecedented rise of anti-Ukrainian sentiments in Poland. We hear constant apologies and statements of absolutely impotent direction.
The EU does not react either. By the way, Poland is part of a wider conflict in the European Union. It manages to group around the states of Central Europe, opposing them to France and Germany. Therefore, virtually all of us are witnessing the formation of one of the new kernels of influence in the EU.
Now we are seeing the soft phase of the hybrid war of Poland against Ukraine. It is the war of information. But preparation seems to go to another phase – distribution of Polish cards, Polish passports, verbal activity of Polish secret services, deliberate infiltration into the Ukrainian authorities (especially the western regions of Ukraine) and the creation of agent positions for a new phase.
If the annexation of Crimea has become a factor in disturbing international relations and most of the leading powers have taken a clear position, the fact of the conflict with Poland, which is rather aggressive, remains without the comments from the international community.
Original article is available here.