Survey: Poles supportive of Ukrainian migrants

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Researchers asked Polish respondents what their views were on Ukrainians living and working in Poland, with the majority of those participating in the survey (63%) viewing the migrants in a positive light. Only 15 percent took the opposite view and 22 percent had no clear view.

With regard to political preferences, liberal voters backing the main opposition Civic Platform were the most welcoming, with 82 percent reporting feeling positive about the migrants but 66 percent of voters of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) held the same view.

Poland has consistently supported Ukrainian aspirations for NATO and EU membership, and Polish politicians have been active in support of both the Maidan revolutions in Ukraine. Poland was also the first state to recognize Ukrainian independence back in 1991.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have chosen to work and live in Poland over the past decade.

However, there remain some historic tensions between Ukraine and Poland with regard to pre-war Poland and the Second World War.

A part of Polish territory was taken over by the Soviet Union and became a part of Ukraine. Poland does not contest the border established after the Second World War but it objects to Ukraine glorifying the struggle by its nationalist army led by Stepan Bandera, which committed some atrocities on Polish civilians during the Second World War and allied itself with Nazi Germany.

Relations between the two countries have improved of late as Polish President Andrzej Duda has struck up a good understanding with Ukraine’s new president, Volodimir Zelensky.

The two governments are working close together on security issues, including anti-corruption probes which have led to the detention of Sławomir Nowakon, the former liberal Polish transport minister who went on to work as head of Ukrainian road building corporation, who was charged with corruption.

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