Moscow and the conflicts of Poland and Ukraine

Gesture of friendship: Duda and Zelenskyj on January 11 at the “Young Eagles” cemetery in Lviv
Image: Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP

Moscow is trying to exploit the historic conflicts between Poland and Ukraine. In Lemberg, Presidents Duda and Zelenskyj took a stand against it.

Dhe cemetery of the “Young Eagles” in Lemberg has long been a hot topic in relations between Poland and the Ukraine. Polish schoolchildren and students are buried there who were killed as volunteers in battles between Poles and Ukrainians for the city in 1918. The Ukrainian attempt to found its own state at the end of the First World War failed, and most of Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union. The Poles, on the other hand, managed to regain the independence they had lost in the 18th century. In the interwar period, today’s western Ukraine belonged to the Polish state, which erected a pompous cemetery for the fallen “Young Eagles” in Lemberg.

In this cemetery have the Polish President Andrzej Duda and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy jointly laid wreaths on Wednesday evening. Together, the two also visited the honorary cemetery for the then opponents of the “Young Eagles”, the fighters of the Ukrainian Galician Army, which was built nearby after Ukraine became independent. “We know how difficult relations between our peoples often are,” said Duda after his return. Such “gestures of friendship” as visiting the cemetery together strengthened the Poles’ support for their neighbors.

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