PISM Report: Obraz Polski w polityce historycznej Ukrainy
20 JUN 2017 Report
Common history largely influenced Polish-Ukrainian relations after Ukraine regained its independence in 1991. Apart from trying to solve political or economic problems, the two states tried much differently to deal with controversial issues, such as the Volyn massacre (1943–1944), “Operation Vistula” (1947), the relations between Poles and Ukrainians before World War II, and their attitudes towards the Nazi and communist regimes. Because of Ukraine's policies related to history, tensions in Polish-Ukrainian relations emerged from the outset, especially during the commemorations of Volyn in 2003 and again in 2013. However, a crisis in relations over their shared history came only in 2016.This report attempts to analyse Ukraine’s policies on historical matters related to Poland on three levels: legal, mass media, and education. In these segments of public life, on the one hand, the state’s efforts to shape a desired image of the past appears. On the other hand, is the image as viewed by the other. The Ukrainian legislation is presented in the wider perspective of the last 20 years. The parts about mass media and education level concern the current period, especially 2016–2017.
Common history largely influenced Polish-Ukrainian relations after Ukraine regained its independence in 1991. Apart from trying to solve political or economic problems, the two states tried much differently to deal with controversial issues, such as the Volyn massacre (1943–1944), “Operation Vistula” (1947), the relations between Poles and Ukrainians before World War II, and their attitudes towards the Nazi and communist regimes. Because of Ukraine's policies related to history, tensions in Polish-Ukrainian relations emerged from the outset, especially during the commemorations of Volyn in 2003 and again in 2013. However, a crisis in relations over their shared history came only in 2016.
This report attempts to analyse Ukraine’s policies on historical matters related to Poland on three levels: legal, mass media, and education. In these segments of public life, on the one hand, the state’s efforts to shape a desired image of the past appears. On the other hand, is the image as viewed by the other. The Ukrainian legislation is presented in the wider perspective of the last 20 years. The parts about mass media and education level concern the current period, especially 2016–2017.