WARSAW, August 4. /TASS/. The plans of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to vote for a bill recognizing the actions of the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 as genocide is a political response, speaker of the Polish Senate (upper house of parliament) Stanislav Karczewski told the Polish radio on Thursday. He referred to a recent resolution passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament (Sejm) describing the crimes committed by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) against the Poles in Volhynia in 1943-1944 as genocide.
"What the Ukrainians did was genocide," he said.
"We must seek the truth, and that’s what we are doing," Karczewski said expressing confidence that it will be possible to resolve the issue. "We are in talks with the Ukrainian side. We have good contacts with politicians, even though they do not want to talk about this openly and resolutely."
Concerning the draft resolution on recognizing Poland’s actions against Ukrainians as genocide submitted to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, the Polish speaker described it as "a political response." "Such actions never took place. It is bad that such a document will be passed," he said.
The Ukrainian parliament earlier said on its website that "a draft resolution on commemorating the victims of genocide atrocities committed by the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 appeared in a list of registered Rada bills on Wednesday."
The draft resolution initiated by Verkhovna Rada member Oleg Musiy who is not affiliated with 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 as an act of genocide.
On July 22, the Polish Sejm instituted July 11 as Day of Memory for the Poles who fell victim to genocide atrocities committed by OUN-UPA (outlawed in Russia).
The OUN was an ultra-right political organization that operated mainly in western Ukraine. To achieve its goal - creating an independent Ukraine - the OUN relied on the use of violence, including terrorist attacks.
During World War II the OUN began fighting the Soviet regime in collaboration with the German intelligence services. In 1943 it organized the UPA (outlawed in Russia).
In February 1943, Ukrainian nationalists started a campaign to annihilate the Polish population of Volhynia. These events reached their climax on July 11, 1943, when OUN-UPA units attacked nearly 100 Polish populated localities killing about 100,000 people, above all, women, children and the elderly.
In 2013, Poland’s Sejm passed a resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Volhynia tragedy describing these tragic events as "ethnic cleansing with elements of genocide." However, the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) recognized the OUN-UPA activities as struggle for Ukraine’s independence in 2015.