Poland and Ukraine – Two voices
One of the biggest stories in 2017 has been the growing tensions and challenges in Polish-Ukrainian relations. With both sides escalating rhetoric, it begs the question – how to break the impasse? Yet, before addressing the mending of relations, we present two voices which attempt to better describe how we got here in the first place – one supporting the Polish point of view and one supporting the Ukrainian point of view.
“I am a historian focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and historians know all too well about what happened and that history is somewhat complex. I therefore value the calm debates, refraining from overusing big words as well as the ability maintain a distanced outlook. I have always avoided the myths which dominated the common debates and the simplified visions. Between Poles and Ukrainians a lot is changing for the better, but one thing continues to haunt us – the inclination to make generalisations. That is why, I would like to look at the reality.”
“One of the best examples of fake news in the post-communist world is the finger pointing by Russia and Poland towards Ukraine. Instead of looking in the mirror at the mainstreaming of nationalist discourse both countries point to “nationalists” in Ukraine. Yet, populists with nationalistic tendencies receive between 40 and 70 per cent support in Polish or Russian elections respectively, while in Ukraine they are unable to cross the four per cent threshold to enter parliament. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s Solidarity party has never given its support to rallies of nationalists.”