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The chairman of Ukraine’s parliament has provided words of reconciliation more than Planet War II-era mass murders that have strained relations with its neighbor and strategic ally Poland for 80 years

Might 25, 2023, 9:18 AM ET

• three min study

“Human life has equal worth, regardless of nationality, race, sex or religion,” Ruslan Stefanchuk told Polish lawmakers. “With this awareness we will cooperate with you, dear Polish buddies, and we will accept the truth regardless of how uncompromising it may well be.”

Stefanchuk’s words sounded a new tone and have been in contrast to the current angry reaction of Ukraine’s ambassador to Polish expectations of an apology.

Poland this year is marking the 80th anniversary of the 1943-44 massacre of some one hundred,000 Poles by Ukrainian nationalists and other folks in Volhynia and other regions that have been then in eastern Poland, below Nazi German occupation, and which are now aspect of Ukraine.

Complete villages have been burned down and all their inhabitants killed by the nationalists and their helpers searching for to establish an independent Ukraine state. Poland calls the events a genocide.

An estimated 15,000 Ukrainians died in retaliation.

Stefanchuk was speaking in Poland’s parliament through a check out to Warsaw. Poland has been supplying military and humanitarian help to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Stefanchuk thanked Poland for the present help, and then provided sympathy to the households of the Poles slain in what is recognized as the Volhynia massacre. He also provided a joint work to determine and honor all the victims buried in Ukraine.

Poland has extended been searching for Kyiv’s permission for exhumations, identification and commemoration of the Polish victims. Nonetheless, some of the Ukrainian nationalist leaders of the time are regarded as crucial figures for Ukraine’s statehood, lending a various point of view there to the events.

Stefanchuk thanked the households of the victims for cultivating a memory which “does not get in touch with for revenge or hatred, but which serves as a warning that nothing at all like that can ever come about involving our nations once again.”

He mentioned that identification and honoring of the victims “without bans or barriers” is “our joint moral and Christian obligation.”

He mentioned that an open, joint strategy to the painful history would be an “exceptionally vital test” that could pave the way for the words “we forgive and ask for forgiveness.” These words, provided by Poland’s Catholic bishops to Germany’s bishops in the 1960s, laid the foundations for Poland’s reconciliation with its Planet War II aggressor, Germany.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau described Stefanchuk’s speech as “very superior,” saying that “we have heard what we wanted to hear.”

“We are on the appropriate path and this speech shows that our positions are having closer once again. We have some thing to develop on,” Rau mentioned.

Poland’s leaders have insisted that bringing the complete truth into the open will strengthen bilateral relations with Ukraine and neutralize vulnerabilities that could be exploited by third nations searching for to undermine these ties.

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