Beyond the Rhetoric in the Rift Between Poland and Ukraine

The dispute over different interpretations of their shared history has resulted in protests and heated debates.

Deep Dive

|March 29, 2018

Summary

Since 2015, tensions between two important Eastern European countries, Poland and Ukraine, appear to have been rising. It is now common to see public officials from both countries criticizing each other, with Warsaw condemning policies introduced in Kiev, and vice versa. Frequent protests have also erupted. The rift mostly stems from the countries’ different interpretations of their shared history. Following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and removal of the Russian-backed government in Kiev, Ukraine revived some controversial nationalist figures and groups from its past. This angered many Poles, who saw these same figures and groups as responsible for atrocities committed against Poles decades ago.

Things weren’t always this way, however. Poland has backed Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union and has supported Kiev through the crisis that broke out in 2014. Poland wants to limit Russian influence in Eastern Europe, which means ensuring that Kiev doesn’t dri

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Beyond the Rhetoric in the Rift Between Poland and Ukraine