20:15 GMT +320 February 2018
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    Tabletop Madness: Ukrainian Nationalists Set Sights on Poland in New Board Game

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    A Ukrainian state-sponsored research institute is playtesting a new board game called 'One Hundred Years of Struggle: Ukraine's National Revolution - 1917-1921', in which several major Polish cities are characterized as being 'ethnic Ukrainian'. Polish historian Czeslaw Partacz told Sputnik about the "nationalist madness" behind the game.

    Territorial Expansionism for Kids

    The game, created with the support of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, describes the Polish cities and towns of Przemysl, Chelm, Sanok, Siedlce and Zegiestow as ethnic Ukrainian lands. The apparent goal of the game is to move pieces along Ukraine's so-called 'ethnic borders', with the first player to finish being the winner.

    "We are already playtesting the board game 'One Hundred Years of Struggle: Ukraine's National Revolution of 1917-1921, which will be presented on October 13 at the istoriya.ua festival. The game will be interesting for both adults and children."

    The game has led to controversy in Poland. Local media are concerned not just by its content, but by the fact that it is produced by Ukraine's Institute of National Remembrance, which has already been subject to significant criticism for its denial of the systematic murder and ethnic cleansing of Poles in western Ukraine by Ukrainian ultranationalists during the Second World War.

    "Nationalist Madness"

    Asked to comment on the game, and why it is coming out now, Czeslaw Partacz, professor of modern Polish history, told Sputnik Polska that's part of the fevered nationalism which has taken over the country's political elite and academia.

    "It has to do with the desire by Ukrainian nationalists to snatch up Polish territory," the academic explained. "They believe that if at least 5-6 Ukrainians live somewhere, it should be considered Ukrainian land."

    Partacz plans to publish a new book later this year debunking these kinds of claims. "The Poles can also say that there are 368 Poles in Dnepropetrovsk and so this too should be considered Polish land," he joked. "This nationalist madness is akin to a severe and incurable mental illness. They [Kiev] cannot use or administer even what they already have. Basically, they are only able to destroy, and yet even this is not enough for them," he added.

    The professor admitted that he wasn't exactly surprised by the appearance of this sort of board game, given the rewriting of history that's taking place in Ukraine. "There is a Mr. Novozhenets in Lviv who publishes delusional books in which Krakow [a city in southern Poland] is described as an ancient Ukrainian city, where Polish King John Sobieski, who defeated the Turks near Vienna, is described as really being a Ukrainian king."

    On the one hand, these claims are laughable and ridiculous, Partacz said. On the other hand, however, such works "foment national hatred," and allow for arguments to be made in favor of seizing a neighbor's territories. In that regard, what is happening "is very dangerous," the observer stressed.

    Asked why Warsaw has so far stayed silent on this and other initiatives by the Institute of National Remembrance, Partacz noted that unfortunately, Poland has a very strong pro-Ukrainian lobby, even in Poland's own Institute of National Remembrance. "For one reason or another, each of Poland's ruling parties, past and present, is subject to this influence. This is a disgrace and an embarrassment," the academic concluded.

    Tags:
    board game, territorial claims, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINR), Poland, Ukraine
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