The German media is reporting that Poles are outraged at the «arrogance» of the Ukrainians who continue to flood into their country, viewing Poland as the «reachable West». The Pole’s dissatisfaction is being extended to their government, «which is supporting total outsiders at the expense of Polish taxpayers ...»
Tens of thousands of what are being called «temporary migrants from Ukraine,» many of whom are fleeing draft notices, are indeed using Poland as a safe haven. Ukrainian students in the eastern Polish city of Rzeszow, for example, have written an open letter to Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz to ask for state support, «to get us through these difficult times so we may later come to Ukraine’s defense». Hence the discontent of local residents. The Poles have a whole list of reasons to dislike the influx of Ukrainians into Poland.
First of all, there has been an increase in the number of Ukrainian students in Polish universities. This is primarily true in colleges in eastern Polish cities such as Lublin and Rzeszów. A large number of Ukrainians (about 23,000, or equal to about 42 % of all foreign students according to Polish estimates, although German figures put them at over 50 %) are studying at Polish universities, which reduces the chances of Polish students landing a good job after graduation.
«Some Polish students complain that it’s much easier for applicants coming from Ukraine than for locals, just because they’re Ukrainians». According to the Poles, «we’re reaching an interesting point at which a Polish applicant with good grades on his transcript can’t get into the academic department he was hoping for, and a Ukrainian student takes his place; as a result... Polish taxpayers such as that applicant’s parents are paying for state colleges where there are no openings for their own children in the good departments, because they have been squeezed out by Ukrainians with far worse grades». Things got to the point that in early October a group of Polish students created the Stop the Ukrainization of Opole University movement, in which they accuse the university administration of favoring Ukrainian students over Poles.
Second, there have been issues with the behavior of Ukrainians who are studying in Polish universities. For example, some Ukrainian students are defiantly photographing themselves in Poland holding the flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which was guilty of killing tens of thousands of Poles. The scandal that occurred at East European State Higher School (PWSW), located on the Polish-Ukrainian border in the city of Przemyśl, is a typical example. Nine students at that Polish college who had come from Ukraine posted photos on the Internet of themselves bearing the flag of the UPA.
One local resident commented on the wykop.pl website that this act was «a slap in the face to the Poles in their own land! We won’t turn a blind eye to this. We’re sending the prosecutor’s office a formal statement requesting that charges be filed, we’re publicizing this event in the media, and we’re writing a letter of protest to the dean». Within hours, the website of State Higher School in Przemyśl was literally inundated with angry comments. Apologetically, the dean of PWSW expressed his «deep regret at the behavior of some students at the school, which was at best inappropriate». As the Polish press put it, «The Poles, who know their history well, have surrendered to the Brownshirts [Ukrainians]».
Third, there is the upsurge in «Ukrainian chauvinistic nationalism». Some Polish politicians are already openly refusing to support the regime in Kiev, as Waldemar Skrzypczak, the former commander of Poland’s Land Forces and that country’s deputy minister of defense, has done, claiming that he has renounced his support for Ukraine because of the followers of Stepan Bandera, who killed his uncle.
Polish researchers note, «Unfortunately, the problem of Ukrainian chauvinistic nationalism exists, and in the long run it is much more dangerous than the myth of Russian imperialism, which the media in today’s Rzeczpospolita constantly use to frighten children». One event that took place in Volyn backs this up, where activists from Ukraine’s Right Sector and the representatives of what is called the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church commemorated the anniversary of «one of the UPA’s greatest victories». This is a reference to the killing of over six hundred refugees and residents in the village of Janowa Dolina in 1943. The massacre in Janowa Dolina was one of the most horrifying crimes committed by the Ukrainian nationalists against the Polish population: women, the elderly, and the Polish staff of the local hospital as well as patients were burned alive and killed with pitchforks, axes, and crowbars. Some children were nailed to fences, and babies had their heads smashed against walls...
Fourth, there is the threat of Islamic terrorism being exported from Ukraine. The Polish journalist Marcin Mamoń writes, «Ukraine is now becoming an important stop-off point for the brothers … of ISIS and other underground Islamic organizations ... You can also do business in Ukraine that’s not quite legal. You can earn easy money for the brothers fighting in the Caucasus, Syria and Afghanistan. You can ‘legally’ acquire unregistered weapons to fight the Russian-backed separatists, and then export them by bribing corrupt Ukrainian customs officers ... In Ukraine, you can buy a passport and a new identity. For $15,000, a fighter receives a new name and a legal document attesting to Ukrainian citizenship... Ukrainians have few difficulties obtaining visas to neighboring Poland, where they can work on construction sites and in restaurants, filling the gap left by the millions of Poles who have left in search of work in the United Kingdom and Germany».
According to German journalists, «for too long the Poles have viewed Ukrainians the same way the Germans view the Poles, that is - as cheap labor...» According to German estimates, currently over a million Ukrainians work in Poland seasonally and illegally. The problem is that the two major political parties in Poland - the ruling Civic Platform (PO) and the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) - are equally involved in supporting the oligarchic Nazi regime in Kiev. The leaders of these parties believe that without Poland, Ukraine would resemble an African colony without Europe, which is what the Polish foreign minister stated in November of last year.
Piotr Kazmierkiewicz, a spokesman for a leading Polish think tank, the Instytut Spraw Publicznych, unwittingly shed a bit of light on the seriousness of the situation when he stated, «Poland needs to fill the void that was created when so many young and energetic people emigrated from our country... We are now in the initial phase: we need to calculate how many Poles have emigrated and which of those might return to Poland. This is an important demographic issue. Poland is not currently benefiting from emigration ... too few of those who come are planning a long-term future in Poland. According to the statistics, Poland gets 5,000 new citizens each year, which is not enough».
As a consequence, on one hand we have the «friendly nation of Poland» that denied all 2,200 of the Ukrainians who applied for political asylum in just the first two months of 2015. The Poles need a steady supply of cheap labor, not vagrant freeloaders who are pretending to have political motives. On the other hand, one finds propaganda in the Polish media that advocates for the «moral duty to support the Ukrainians in Poland» and for their «integration into Polish society». But the Poles increasingly find this propaganda to be bewildering and offensive.
Professor Bogusław Paź has had strong words on this topic, «After millions of Poles were expelled from Poland’s southeast Kresy regions, 200,000 murdered, and vast tracts of Polish land seized, any propaganda claiming we have a «moral duty» here is a travesty. And whose interests are being served today - after five million Poles have been forced from Poland by the government’s latest «experiments» due to a lack of jobs or hope for their future? Definitely not the interests of the Poles. Also, I do not understand how the question of how our «morals» could be called into question in regard to any people who venerate «heroes» like Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych and other murderers who killed huge numbers of Poles. But according to the latest sociological studies, that would describe more than half the citizens of Ukraine!»