18:04 GMT18 January 2021
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    Warsaw's reaction to a recent shelling of a Polish consulate in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk can be described as "a condition of powerless senility," Polish historian and independent political commentator Bohdan Pietka told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik Poland, Polish historian and independent political commentator Bohdan Pietka said that Warsaw continues to turn a blind eye to the revival of Ukrainian nationalism and chauvinism, which could add to the recent shelling of a Polish consulate in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk.

    He called Polish authorities' reaction to the shelling "a condition of powerless senility."

    On Wednesday, unidentified attackers shelled the Polish Consulate General in Lutsk using a grenade launcher; no one was hurt in the incident, but the consulate building was damaged, according to the diplomatic mission.

    Commenting on the matter, Pietka recalled that on March 16, an array of leading Ukrainian nationalist organizations such as Freedom, the Convention of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Right Sector adopted a so-called National Manifesto.

    In particular, the document stipulates the ouster of current Ukrainian authorities, that Ukraine must have access to nuclear weapons, and the creation of the Baltic-Black Sea Union.

    "This was ignored by senior Polish officials, who immediately call all the negative incidents, especially those in Western Ukraine, Russian provocations," Pietka said.

    "I would call these officials' reaction to the threatening incident in Lutsk a condition akin to impotent senility," he added.

    "These people do not want to pay attention to the anti-Polish nature of Ukrainian nationalism and chauvinism, which developed and gained strength after the Maidan coup in Ukraine. They do not see the processes going in a very dangerous direction because Kiev does not control the political situation not only in Western Ukraine, but elsewhere in the country," according to  Pietka.

    He also pointed to the fact that the Ukrainian nationalists are poised to form a geopolitical alliance between Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States and Belarus, in which Kiev is due to become the leading force.

    In this vein, he referred to a recent spate of incidents across Ukraine, including the one in Kiev, where a Polish military cemetery was desecrated.Another incident saw an attack on the Polish Embassy, where a huge portrait of Bandera was installed.

    "Regrettably, both Polish authorities and the opposition, including the former Solidarity labor union], prefer to ignore the danger emanating from growing Ukrainian nationalism. They refuse to understand the fact that Ukrainian nationalists are absolutely irrelevant partners for political cooperation," Pietka pointed out.

    A man carrying a picture of Stepan Bandera during a torchlight procession of Ukrainian nationalists in downtown Kiev. File photo
    © Sputnik / Grigoriy Vasilenko
    A man carrying a picture of Stepan Bandera during a torchlight procession of Ukrainian nationalists in downtown Kiev. File photo

    Earlier, the Polish Press Agency reported that representatives from Poland's Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) consider the Ukrainian parliament's recognition of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as fighters for independence a "slap in the face" to the people of Poland and to its President.

    The Ukrainian Insurgent Army is being glorified, and a law has been passed recognizing the special role played by the UPA in Ukrainian history." Based on the law, "anyone who asserts the fact that the UPA is a criminal organization involved in the genocide [of Poles] can be punished; this is a disgrace. It is a slap in the face to the Polish people and President Komorowski," SLD deputy Tomasz Kalita stated.

    Over the past decade, Ukrainian-Polish relations have been strained by Ukrainian historians' growing attempts to whitewash the WWII-era war crimes committed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

    Polish historians blame the killing of between 100,000 and 130,000 Polish civilians and 5,000-10,000 Ukrainian civilians in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia on the UPA, claims which Ukrainian historians have downplayed or denied outright.

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