An intervention of Poland in Ukraine, is it possible? This is the question of provocative nature regularly asked by Polish speaking Internet users since last December (1). Polish savvies and social networks’ bloggers joined the debate in January 2014.
In some cases Polish media (2) refers to defunct Dora Katsnelson, Ph.D., an outstanding philologist and historian. In 1989 she met Michael Gorbachev. According to Professor Jan Ciechanowicz, a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the founder of the Party of the Human Rights (Polskiej Partii Praw Człowieka), as far back as 1990 Dora Katsnelson put forward the idea of creating the Polish Eastern Republic «on the territories occupied by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics since September 17 1939». Referring to the substantiation adduced by Katsnelson, Polish media outlets use every opportunity to emphasize that Poland «could have returned parts of Kresy (the Eastern Borderlands of the Second Polish Republic), at the time the Soviet Union collapsed».
Some Facebook pages in Polish language are really captivating offering such captions as «We Want a Polish Military Intervention in Ukraine, but no War» («Żądamy polskiej interwencji zbrojnej na Ukrainie. PS nie chcemy wojny») (3) Those who wrote it prefer to keep in shade. They act under the cover of nationalist organizations, for instance the National Brigade of People’s Radical Sector (Brygady Łódzkiej Obozu Narodowo-Radykalnego), which interact with such media outlets as Kresy.pl, created with the support of the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Senate. The website focuses on the problem of eastern kresy (lands).
The information is offered to the readers who believe that «the time is propitious for raising the issue of getting Kresy back as the events unfold in Ukraine»…The website administrators warn that «all posts on the page should be only in Polish and West European languages…Russian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian are strictly forbidden…To call Ukrainians brotherly people means to desecrate the memory of the Volyn massacre victims, something absolutely unacceptable».
The page I set as an example here appeared in the Polish language segment of Internet on January 25 – the day the Ukrainian opposition was at the peak of success having captured the western part of the country and launching an offensive against the south-eastern lands of Ukraine. Polish bloggers immediately seized the moment to expound their views saying, «Ukraine is an artificial entity created out of the pieces of Polish, Russian, Slovak, Hungarian and Romanian lands… Ukrainians will themselves decide to hold a referendum on accession to Rzeczpospolita or the European Union. A peaceful intervention of Polish army is needed to create proper conditions for holding the referendum and to prevent the falsification of its results by Russians. All the successors of Volyn residents and Poles in numbers corresponding to Volyn victims slaughtered in the massacre and their successors, as well as 3 million people living in contemporary Poland, should take part in the vote. Then we’ll win. Dniester will become a border line! (marked in bold by the author). Of course we need a peaceful intervention like the one undertaken by Americans in Afghanistan and I believe it’ll end up differently».
That’s what Poland should be like according to the National Brigade of People’s Radical Sector. The arguments put forward to justify territorial gains in the East are simple enough, «Romania wants to take advantage of the situation. Why should we lag behind! …Poland should stretch from sea to sea!»
By January 27 the Neo-Nazi’s offensive in the south-eastern part of Ukraine was frustrated because the population of Donetsk, Zaporozhye and some other cities showed it was capable of self-organization. Those days rebels were pulled back for the fear of Russian population self-organizing without asking anybody at the top. This could frustrate all the plans. (4) It cooled down hotheads who used Internet to call for a Polish intervention in Ukraine.
Starting from February a new spam-like information wave of dubious nature hit Internet again. Those days the National Brigade of People’s Radical Sector issued an official statement addressed to the country’s Prime Minister calling for an «intervention to protect relatives in Ukraine». It was signed by the head of the National Brigade of People’s Radical Sector’s press-service Przemysław Kicowski. Nobody in Poland had any idea who he was, the very same way a few months ago nobody in Ukraine knew who Dmitro Yarosh, the head of Pravy Sector, was. Today this statement does not seem to be such a funny thing anymore.
Pictures and maps are normally used to inculcate the idea that there are parts of territory that should belong to Poland, like the drawing above does. The words below say, «What do I care about Ukraine? I do not support the Bandera movement!!!You want to join Europe? Then you give us OUR LAND first and stop falsifying history!»
While former Polish intelligence officers like Robert Cheda assures Russian readers that «The European Union has nothing to counter Russian political dominance with» because «the strategic goal of Russia is not to restore the USSR but rather to win in geopolitical struggle with the European Union and survive in the XXI century». (5), his compatriots disseminate among Polish readers the maps showing «the expected borders of Rzeczpospolita drawn by Roman Dmowski at the 1919 peaceful conference in Paris».
These are the borders Józef Klemens Piłsudski wanted to draw when he suddenly rushed to capture Kiev unleashing a war against Soviet Russia. The Maidan’s victory in Kiev opens wide opportunities to spread maps in Polish language sector of Internet showing what lands should go to Romania, Hungary and Poland and what chunks of territory should become «Polish colonies»…