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WARSAW, August 4. /TASS/. Plans by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to vote for a bill declaring the actions of the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 as genocide shocked the Polish Foreign Ministry, Rafal Sobchak, the ministry’s spokesman, said on Thursday. The text of the document has been made public by Verkhovna Rada legislator, Oleg Musiy, who earlier registered it in parliament.
"We took note of the draft resolution registered in the Verkhovna Rada on August 3, which raises eyebrows," he said. According to Sobchak, "this is an isolated incident and the initiative of one lawmaker."
"We invariably adhere to the stance that the path to understanding and creating a good environment in our bilateral relations should be open. It should be a dialogue based on historical truth," he said.
The Ukrainian parliament earlier said on its website that "a draft resolution on commemorating the victims of genocide committed by the Polish state against Ukrainians in 1919-1951 appeared on a list of registered Rada bills on Wednesday."
"The Verkhovna Rada proclaims March 24 as Remembrance Day paying homage to the victims of genocide committed by the Polish state in 1919-1951," the document says.
The draft initiated by a Verkhovna Rada non-party-affiliated lawmaker, Oleg Musiy was a retaliatory move against a recent decision by 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 Poland’s Remembrance Day of Genocide devoted to Poles who fell victim to genocide atrocities committed by OUN-UPA (outlawed in Russia).
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was an ultra-right political organization that operated mainly in western Ukraine. To achieve its goal of creating an ethnically-pure and independent Ukraine, the OUN relied on violence, including terrorist attacks.
During World War II, the OUN fought the Soviet Union and collaborated with Nazi intelligence. In 1943, it organized the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (outlawed in Russia).
In February 1943, Ukrainian nationalists launched a genocidal crusade to annihilate the Polish population of Volhynia. The bloody campaign culminated on July 11, 1943, when OUN-UPA units attacked nearly 100 Polish populated localities, slaughtering 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, last year the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) attempted to paint the OUN-UPA actions as a fight for Ukraine’s independence.