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Ukrainian organizations and Ukrainian diplomats urged Polish authorities to find out what happened last Saturday in city of Przemysl near Polish-Ukrainian border. Polish media published video footage of Saturday's demonstration of patriotic Polish "March of the eaglets," on which you can heard shouts "Death to Ukrainians!" and slogans "Przemysl and Lviv – are always Polish." Radio Liberty asked Ukrainian leader Petro Tyma, Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland Andriy Deshchytsia and Polish analyst Przemyslaw Żurawski vel Grajewski about their reactions to the incident in Przemysl.
Ukrainian association of Poland stated that on Saturday in Przemysl Polish celebrations were accompanied by anti-Ukrainian attacks. This organization claims that during the demonstration, dedicated to the Polish-Ukrainian conflict in 1918, people heard exclamations that could incite ethnic strife. This Ukrainian Association of Poland wrote in its message addressed to the Polish authorities.
Ukrainian leaders calling on the government of Poland to counter such acts of hostility against Ukrainian minorities and citizens of Ukraine. Most of them are outraged with the fact that in Przemysl demonstration took part representatives of nationalist organizations " Camp of Great Poland." Exactly this organization claimed responsibility for the destruction of eight monuments in the Ukrainian cemeteries in Poland, which took place over the past two years. Representatives of the "Camp of Great Poland" do not hide their pro-Russian sentiment and are participating in military training camps in Russia.
Participants shout "Death to Ukrainians!"
Petro Tyma, chairman of the Ukrainian Association of Poland, stresses that the patronage of Saturday celebrations in Przemysl was provided by the mayor of the city and several Polish state institutions. Government officials, stressed Tyma, were in the one column of demonstration with representatives of ultra nationalistic organizations and pseudo fans.
Tyma said that the Polish government does not hurry with the reaction. "On the one hand, we have experts who say it is a pure Russian provocation that should bring to the conflict on the Ukrainian-Polish border. And on the other hand we have inexplicable omission of Polish authorities. "
According to the leader of Ukrainian organization, such appeal to the Polish authorities is caused by the fact that Saturday events in Przemysl - were not the first anti-Ukrainian incident this year. Tyma recalls Polish nationalists’ attack on Ukrainian church procession in June and cases of destruction of Ukrainian tombstones in southeastern Poland with no investigations.
Why such incidents happen now?
Ukrainian diplomats in Poland also respond to the situation in Przemysl. Ambassador of Ukraine Andriy Deshchytsia said: "First of all, we sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of Poland, and the Consul General of Ukraine in Lublin sent a corresponding letter to the Mayor of Przemysl demanding to punish the persons who, if confirmed, have called for international enmity."
Deshchytsia does not hide his concern over recent events. "I am very concerned that such incidents - I would even say such provocations - took place at a time when between Ukraine and Poland very dynamic bilateral relations have resumed, -said the ambassador. - It was showed during the visit of President of Ukraine to Poland, during which were signed agreements on cooperation in the energy and defense sectors, and where we have confirmed similar positions in matters of sanctions against Russia, the introduction of visa-free regime for the citizens of Ukraine or the speedy ratification of EU Association ".
Deshchytsia adds that previous resonance cases of anti-Ukrainian actions in Poland are investigated by the relevant Polish authorities. In particular, now we have the ongoing investigation of the attack on Ukrainian church procession in Przemysl and of abuse of the Ukrainian flag in Warsaw.
Ambassador of Ukraine in Poland fears that the results of hard work on deepening bilateral relations could be wiped out by one provocative appeal. "These provocations can incite Ukrainian and Polish conflict. No doubt, Polish authorities need to conduct a thorough investigation and punish those responsible, and such provocations should not have an impact on the overall trend in relations between Poland and Ukraine "- sums up Andriy Deshchytsia.
Anti-Ukrainian outbursts - an element of hybrid war
Incidents in Przemysl could not be viewed outside the context of the political situation in the east of Europe, convinced Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski, the Polish analyst, adviser to the Foreign Minister of Poland.
The expert recalled that in 2015 in Bucharest, on Poland and Romania initiative was established the so-called Bucharest "nine" - a group of 9 countries, members of NATO. "Under the influence of the Russian aggression in Ukraine these states have initiated the strengthening of eastern flank of NATO, which was approved by the Warsaw Summit in July. Poland - is the main initiator of idea of adequate NATO-Russia dialogue, that is such a dialogue, where the Kremlin sees a red line which it cannot transgress ", - said the analyst.
In his opinion, the Polish-Ukrainian rapprochement that happened in recent weeks, is forcing Russia to counterattack. "In this situation, it is obvious and natural that the Russian hybrid war against Ukraine, especially at the level of propaganda and secret service operations must cover the territory of Poland to strike on Ukrainian-Polish relations - he adds. - Deterioration of relations would be a blow to the cooperation between the two largest nations of Central and Eastern Europe and would weaken the support for Ukraine in NATO. "
In the anti-Ukrainian incidents in Poland Żurawski sees aspiration of a third party to inflate mutual hatred and prepare the ground for conflict between the two nations. "Polish and Ukrainian people must be responsible and not allow Russia to make them enemies of each other. And it is no doubt that Russia is aiming for this now, "- said Żurawski.