Zamosc District Prosecutor’s Office in Poland opened a criminal proceeding against Grigory Kupriyanovich, a Ukrainian historian, because of his speech in Sahryniu on the opening of the memorial to local Ukrainians who became victims of a punitive action conducted by Armia Krajowa in 1944. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stood against applying a judicial mechanism to prosecute one of the prominent figures of the Ukrainian community in Poland, as Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, wrote on Facebook.
“After all, a criminal proceeding against one of the leaders of the Ukrainian community, famous historian Grigory Kupriyanovich began in Poland. Przemysław Czarnuch, Lublin Governor, filed a lawsuit against the historian because on July 8 he delivered a speech in Sahryniu on the opening of a memorial to the Ukrainian peasants, who became victims of a punitive action conducted by Armia Krajowa in 1944. As far as I understood, he is “guilty” because he “was brave enough” to say who was the victim and who committed the crime, which means he pronounced well-known facts, which nobody even though to object before. However, the situation changed with the adoption of a new amendment to the Act on National Remembrance,” Klimkin wrote.
The historian faces imprisonment for up to three years.
“We are totally against applying a judicial mechanism to prosecute one of the prominent figure of the Ukrainian community in Poland, who, by the way, is doing a lot for Ukrainian-Polish historical reconciliation,” Klimkin said.
The Minister stated that the Polish community had to react decisively on such speculations.
“This particular situation is rather an attempt of a local politician to make cheap popularity on creating a cross-national scandal. Anyway, I am convinced that the Polish community had to decisively react on such speculations. I sincerely hope that the democratic community will realize all the importance of the situation around the Ukrainian historian and will have their say on his defence,” Klimkin stated.
Reportedly, the Senate of Poland adopted a law without amendments on Institute of National Remembrance on February 1, 2018. The law was providing a criminal responsibility for the attribution of Nazi crimes to Poland, in particular for using the designation of Polish Death Camps. In response, Israel condemned the Polish Government in Holocaust denial.
Articles of the law providing a criminal responsibility for denial the massacre of Poles in Volhynia and propaganda of Bandera ideology remained in force.
As it was reported earlier, Ukraine canceled the permission of Polish Institute of National Remembrance to search and exhume Polish, buried in Ukraine, and did not agree to restore them. This worsened relations between two countries. It happened in April after the monument to Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Hruszowice (Poland) was toppled. Countries discussed the issue a few times, though unsuccessfully – the sides were just trading accusations.
Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said that Ukraine and Poland had to cooperate on the question on the exhumation of the citizens who died in the World War II and during the post-war period. He noted this answering the question about the results of the Polish-Ukrainian excavations in Hruszowice in the place of the destroyed monument to Ukrainian Insurgent Army officers in Poland.