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Kiev claims Polish state committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1919-1951

August 03, 2016, 20:21 UTC+3 KIEV

In February 1943, Ukrainian nationalists started mass extermination of the Polish population of Volhynia

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Palinchak

KIEV, August 3 /TASS/. Ukraine’s Rada may recognize the actions of the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 as genocide if it adopts a draft resolution submitted by Deputy Oleg Musiy.

"A draft resolution on commemorating the victims of a genocide atrocity committed by the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 appeared in a list of registered Rada bills on Wednesday," the Ukrainian parliament said on its website.

The initiative, belonging to Rada Deputy Oleg Musiy who does not belong to any parliamentary faction, came in response to a recent decision of the Polish Sejm (parliament) to recognize the crimes committed by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukraine Insurgent Army (UPA) against the Poles in Volhynia in 1943-1944 to be an act of genocide.

On July 22, the Polish Sejm instituted July 11 as Day of Memory for the Poles who fell victim to a genocide atrocity committed by OUN-UPA, which is banned in Russia.

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) is an ultra-right political organization (banned in Russia) which operated predominantly in the territory of Western Ukraine during WWII. In collaboration with German reconnaissance bodies, OUN fought against the Soviet rule. In February 1943, Ukrainian nationalists started mass extermination of the Polish population of Volhynia. The campaign reached its peak in July-August 1943. On July 11, 1943, the units of OUN - UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) attacked about 100 Polish populated localities and killed about 100,000 Poles, mainly women, children and old people.

The killings’ main purpose was to cleanse the territory of a future Ukrainian state from all non-Ukrainians.

In 2013, the Polish Sejm, parliament’s lower house, passed a resolution, which called the Volhynia atrocity "ethnic cleansing with elements of genocide."

In 2015, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) characterized the activities of OUN-UPA as the struggle for Ukraine’s independence.

In 2016, the Ukrainian government renamed the Moscow Avenue in Kiev into a prospect named after Stepan Bandera, UPA’s chief ideologist.

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