WARSAW, July 14 (Itar-Tass) - A young man nearly hurled an egg at Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski during his visit to Ukraine’s Lutsk, where he arrived to take part in commemorative events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, local media reported on Sunday.
According to media reports, a bodyguard protected the president from eggs. The egg-thrower was detained.
The incident took place shortly after the Polish president called on the Poles and the Ukrainian to forgive each other and to commemorate the Volyn massacre victims with due honor.
“Such crimes cannot be justified. Any fratricidal war is an evil. No striving for freedom and sovereignty can justify ethnic cleansing or massacre,” Komorowski said. “The past, even the most dramatic, must not divide people. Interpreted honestly, it must serve reconciliation and cooperation between our peoples and our independent states. I wish this wound be healed in the memory of the two brotherly peoples as soon as possible.”
The Volyn tragedy (the Volyn massacre) of 1943 was a conflict accompanied by mass murder of ethnic Polish civilians on the territories of the Volyn-Podillia General District, which was under the control of Poland until September 1939. The conflict began in March 1943 and reached its peak in July of the same year. The response from the Polish side started at the end of summer 1943, resulting in significant casualties among Ukrainian civilians. Ethnic cleansing stopped only after these territories were taken by the Red Army in 1944. The Volyn tragedy claimed about 100,000 human lives.
On Friday, the Polish Sejm, or the lower house of parliament, adopted a resolution on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, in which these events were called “ethnic cleansing with signs of genocide.” The lawmakers turned down a proposal to call these events a genocide fearing that such wording might tell negatively on the Polish-Ukrainian relations and have negative impacts on the process of Ukraine’s European integration.