Poland’s Peasant Party has tabled a bill to commemorate the victims of the genocide of Poles by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (UPA) during WW II, Polish Radio reported on Monday. “The organized nature and scope of the Volhynia crime has all the hallmarks of an ethnic cleansing and genocide. 100,000 innocent Polish men, women and children fell victim to this crime committed during the Nazi occupation of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1942-1945,” the document said.
Its authors also mentioned the rising popularity of Stepan Bandera and of his UPA organization in western Ukraine.
Similar bills had earlier been submitted for parliamentary approval by members of Kukiz’15 and Law and Justice parties.
The Volhynia massacre was part of an ethnic cleansing operation carried out in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943 by UPA and OUN. Most of the victims were women and children. The actions of the UPA resulted in 35,000-60,000 Polish deaths in Volhynia and 25,000-40,000 in Eastern Galicia.
In 2003, Ukraine’s Verhovna Rada admitted the mass-scale killings of Poles by “armed Ukrainian formations.”
In 2013, the Polish parliament described the massacres committed by the Ukrainian nationalists against ethnic Poles in Volhynia and Galicia as bearing the distinct features of a genocide and condemned OUN and UPA.
In 2015, Ukrainian MPs passed a bill recognizing notorious ultranationalist groups, including OUN and UPA, as fighters for the country's independence in the 20th century and granted them social benefits under the new law.
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