Majority of Poles believe Ukraine and Zelensky should apologize for WWII-era Volhynia Massacre

A recent survey shows that the majority of Poles seek the resolution of historical grievances to ease tensions with Ukraine

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
On July 7, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki paid tribute to the victims of the Volhynia Massacre by visiting the village of Ostrówek in Ukraine. (Source: Twitter/Krystian Maj/KPRM).

A new poll shows that 53.1 percent of Poles believe that Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky should apologize for the Volhynia Massacre, which saw more than 100,000 Poles killed by Ukrainian nationalists. The poll posed the question: “In your opinion, should Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky apologize to Poland for the Volhynia Massacre?”

Of the 53.1 percent of respondents who answered affirmatively, 34.2 percent chose “definitely yes” and 18.9 percent chose “rather yes.” Meanwhile, 36.2 percent held a different opinion, including 19.3 percent who chose “rather no” and 16.9 percent who chose “definitely no.” Another 10.7 percent of the respondents were “not certain.”

On July 11, Poland observed the National Day of Remembrance for the “Victims of Genocide Committed by Ukrainian Nationalists against the citizens of the Second Polish Republic.” On this day in 1943, the so-called Bloody Sunday, the culminating point of the Volhynia Massacre, occurred.

It was an anti-Polish ethnic cleansing carried out by Ukrainian nationalists and characterized as genocide. It affected not only Volhynia but also the Lviv, Tarnopol, and Stanisławów regions, which constituted Poland’s Eastern Galicia, as well as parts of the neighboring regions of Lublin to the west and Polesie to the north.

On July 7, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki paid tribute to the victims by visiting the village of Ostrówek in Ukraine. The Polish PM lit a candle, prayed, and, together with a descendant of the village’s inhabitants, erected a wooden cross.

On July 9, President Andrzej Duda, along with President Volodymyr Zelensky, paid tribute to the victims of the massacre at the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral in Lutsk.

The Twitter accounts of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland and President Zelensky simultaneously posted identical entries in which the politicians wrote: “Together, we pay tribute to all the innocent victims of Volhynia! Memory unites us! Together, we are stronger.”

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