Ernst Lissner. Expulsion of Polish invaders from the Moscow Kremlin in 1612. 1938
This means that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the process of liberation of the “enslaved peoples” did not stop, but entered a different, tougher phase.
To understand the essence of Poland’s territorial claims to Ukraine, it is necessary to examine the history of Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Russian relations in detail chronologically, as well as to familiarize oneself with the main concepts of Polish foreign policy. These concepts are named after the oldest Polish royal dynasties – Piast and Jagiellon.
The foreign policy concept associated with the name of Piast is based on the ancient “Deeds of the Princes of the Poles” (“Gesta principum Polonorum”), which tells of a poor man named Piast. As the legend goes, some mysterious wanderers, coming to Piast’s house, receive a warm, though modest, welcome. Earlier, the same wanderers visited the feast of the Polish duke Popiel, where they were turned away as unwelcome. In response to the kindness of the poor man who accommodated them, the wanderers performed miracles: the offerings at Piast’s house multiplied, while in Popel’s mansion, on the contrary, they disappeared. Later, as the plot advances, the greedy duke is chased away, dies and is eaten by mice. Siemowit, the son of the virtuous Piast, becomes duke of the Poles. The first historically credible ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, is considered to be the great-grandson of Piast.
Over time, the image of Piast in the minds of the Polish people became a symbol of a hardworking forefather, who builds the state by labor, not by war. During the Romantic era, it became synonymous with “Polishness”. Piast’s name was present in political slogans and names (for example, in the name of the Polish People’s Party “Piast”), it was repeatedly referred to by Polish politicians and ideologists.
The so-called Piastian concept of foreign policy implies that Poland is a Central European power without any desire to expand eastward and is focused on establishing active allied relations with Germany.
The second concept of Polish foreign policy takes its name from the Jagiellonian dynasty, which ascended the Polish throne in 1386. The Jagiellonian concept implies expansion to the east, penetrating into Lithuania and the Russian lands. Within the framework of this concept Poland is seen as a leading regional Eastern European power, representing a multinational, multiconfessional empire. Such an empire’s own mission is to introduce its eastern outskirts into the bosom of European culture. It logically follows that the Jagiellonian concept of the state implies stiff political confrontation and territorial competition with Russia.
Poland’s territorial claims in the east have traditionally concerned Galicia and Volyn, two historic regions in the western part of modern Ukraine. Galicia includes the Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, and Ternopol regions, while Volyn includes Volyn and Rovno regions. To designate them the Poles created a special concept of the “eastern kresy” from the Polish Kresy Wschodnie – eastern borders (edges, territories).
In the 10th century Saint Vladimir, Duke of Kiev, created the Duchy of Vladimir-Volyn. It included the lands of present-day Western Ukraine.
The son of Polish Duke Mieszko I, Boleslaw I the Brave, brought war to these lands.
Boleslaw I is considered to be the founder of the Polish state. The territories of the state under him reached from the modern day Czech Republic to Volhynia. The daughter of Boleslav I was married to the Grand Duke of Kiev Svyatopolk the Accursed. Legend has it that Svyatopolk got that name for the murder of his brothers Boris and Gleb. And there is one true fact that makes the image of Svyatopolk more gloomy: in 1018, he brought the Pechenegs and Poles to the Rus for a war with his other brother, Yaroslav. And Boleslav I, Svyatopolk’s father-in-law, commanded the invading army.
In this campaign, the Polish army of Boleslav I, reinforced by Pecheneg mercenaries, defeated the army of Yaroslav. When their forces entered Kiev, the Polish king refused to leave the city under Svyatopolk’s control. Then, according to one of the versions, Svyatopolk the Accursed initiated mass beatings of the Polish troops. Another version says, the Poles themselves provoked a popular riot. As a result, Boleslav had to leave Kiev rapidly. Volhynia, captured by him on the way back, remained under the Poles.
In 1031, Mstislav Vladimirovich the Brave and Yaroslav the Wise set off on a campaign against Poland and returned the cities of Przemysl and Cherven to the Rus.
In 1199 Volyn Prince Roman Mstislavovich occupied Galich and united the Galician and Volyn principalities. Later, he occupied Kiev and created a powerful state, which included part of the lands of modern Ukraine.
In 1340 the Galician-Volyn prince Boleslav-Yuri II was poisoned during the boyar turmoil. The last Polish king of the Piasts, Casimir III, benefited from this situation. He rapidly sent his troops into Galicia. The many cities he occupied included Peremyshl and Lvov.
However, these cities were not in the Poles’ possession for very long. In 1341, the protege of the Galician boyars, voivode Dmitry Detko, conducted a successful campaign against Poland. As a result of the campaign, Detko’s ally, the Lithuanian prince Lubart, won back the cities of Belz, Vladimir-Volynsky and Kremenets. In 1344, the Poles recognized the authority of the Lithuanians in Volhynia and most of Galicia. In 1349, Casimir III again almost completely occupied Volhynia. But as soon as he disbanded part of his army, the Lithuanian brothers Keistut and Lubart, with the support of the Moscow prince Semyon the Proud, returned Volyn back, and in 1350 the Poles had to admit the loss of Volhynia, signing a peace treaty with the brothers.
In 1366 Casimir III violated this treaty. The resulting war ended with a new treaty, according to which the Poles were asserted in their rights to Galicia and Volhynia, with the exception of the Lutsk land and part of the land of Vladimir. However, already in 1370, Lithuania took revenge by advantage of the death of Casimir III and regained the whole of Volhynia from the Poles.
In 1384, Lithuanian prince and future Polish king Jagiello (Jogaila) kissed the cross and swore allegiance to the victors of the Horde – Moscow prince Dmitry Donskoy and his cousin Vladimir the Brave. In historical sources, there is also a mention of the treaty concluded by Princess Juliana Alexandrovna. According to the treaty, her son Jagiello was to marry the daughter of Dmitry Donskoy, and the Lithuanian principality was to recognize the supreme authority of Moscow and convert to Orthodoxy. This contract was not executed because Jagiello chose a different path.
On August 22, 1385, the Union of Kreva was concluded between Poland and Lithuania. The Union imposed a number of obligations on Jagiello. In particular, he had to give Poland the previously captured Polish and Russian lands, adopt Catholicism as the state religion, and also marry Polish Queen Jadwiga. In February 1386, Jagiello was baptized and married. He came to the throne under the name of Władysław II, although history will remember him as the founder of the Jagiellonian dynasty, who ruled in the states of Central Europe in the 14-16th centuries.
In 1389, Jagiello, aka King Władysław II of Poland, waged war with his cousin Vytautas for power in Lithuania. The result of the war in 1392 was the Ostrov Agreement, according to which Vytautas formally recognized Jagiello as his overlord. According to this agreement, the Polish kingdom received part of Galicia and Volhynia. This division was maintained until the signing of the Union of Lublin in 1569, which resulted in the creation of a federation of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
This federation, called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in its heyday occupied the territory of modern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, as well as parts of Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova and Slovakia. The Composition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth included, in particular, Volhynia, Podolie, and the Kiev region.
At the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries, Russia faced the Time of Troubles. The Poles took advantage of the difficult situation in the Russian state and occupied Moscow, Tver, and ravaged many northern cities. Bandit detachments that joined the Polish invaders massacred Kineshma and burned Galich. Looting and violence led to a popular uprising, and within a few years the militia of Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Mikhailovich Pozharsky drove the Poles back to the west.
Thus began the period of the Russo-Polish wars. Poland sought to gain a foothold in the occupied lands, and Russia wanted to return what it lost in the Time of Troubles. In August 1612, the militia of Minin and Pozharsky, with the support of Trubetskoy’s Cossacks, defeated the detachment of Hetman Chodkiewicz, who failed to break through to help the Poles who occupied Moscow. In October 1612, the Polish garrison in Moscow surrendered.
After several unsuccessful attempts to regain control of Moscow, Poland signed the Truce of Deulin on December 11, 1618. As a result of the first Russian-Polish war of 1609-1618, the Poles finally lost control over Moscow and the surrounding areas. But Smolensk, Chernigov, Dorogobuzh and other cities on the southwestern and western outskirts were still under Polish rule.
The result of the second Russian-Polish war of 1632-1634 was Poland’s renunciation of claims to the Russian throne.
In 1654, a new war between Poland and Russia began for the right to possess the Left-bank Ukraine. After 13 years, the exhausted Poland signed the Armistice of Andrusovo, according to which it renounced rights to the Smolensk and Seversk lands, as well as the Chernigov voivodeship. Left-bank Ukraine was recognized as a Russian possession, Kiev was transferred to Russia for a period of two years, and a joint Polish-Russian administration was established over the territories of the Zaporozhskaya Sich.
In 1686, Russia and Poland signed the Eternal Peace, according to which the Poles’ renunciation of claims to Kiev was bought by Russia for 146 thousand rubles.
The period of the Russo-Polish wars finally ended on March 1, 1772, when representatives of Austria, Prussia and Russia signed a convention on the first partition of Poland. It is extremely significant that in 1773 this partition was recognized by the Polish Sejm.
The troops of the signatory powers entered the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and occupied the areas distributed among them by the convention. Russia acquired part of the Baltic States and the modern territory of Belarus. Territories with a total area of 93 thousand square kilometers and a population of 1 million 300 thousand people went to Russia. Catherine II regretted that Galicia became part of Austria, and she even wanted to exchange it over time.
The second partition of Poland took place in 1793 with the participation of Russia and Prussia. As a result of this partition, Russia received the central part of Belarus, the eastern part of the Polesie, Podolie and a part of Volhynia.
The third and final partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was formalized in 1795. According to historian S. Solovyov, “the nature itself indicated the boundaries” of the lands that went to Russia. Empress Catherine received the remaining Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Belarusian lands, including Volhynia and Courland. Galicia remained Austrian.
In general, historian V. Klyuchevsky believed that according to the results of all three partitions, “Russia did not appropriate anything primordially Polish, took away only its ancient lands and part of Lithuania, which had once attached them to Poland.” The same opinion, according to the historian, was shared by Prussian king Frederick II, who admitted at a meeting of the heads of the three states that Russia alone has the right to do this with Poland, “which cannot be said about ourselves and Austria.”
In 1807, Napoleon took away the once Polish territories from Prussia and created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw on this territory. Two years later, Napoleon annexed to it the lands of the defeated Austria, which it received as a result of the Third Partition of Poland.
In 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon, the western part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw went to Prussia. The Russian Empire took another part of it under the name of the Kingdom of Poland. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 approved this partition.
From 1795 to 1917, the Poles did not have their own nation state. The emergence of an independent Poland was associated with the revolutionary events in Russia. On March 27, 1917, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies adopted an appeal to the “Polish People”, in which it reported:
“The tsarist regime, which for a century and a half oppressed the Polish people simultaneously with the Russians, has been overthrown by the joint forces of the proletariat and the soldiers. Russian democracy stands on the basis of recognition of the national and political self-determination of peoples, and proclaims that Poland has the right to be completely independent in state-international terms.”
On September 10, 1919, according to the Treaty of Saint-Germain, signed by Austria after its defeat in the First World War, the “allied and united powers” (the USA, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, and others) obliged Austria to recognize the new borders of Poland, as well as not to oppose their subsequent changes at the expense of Austrian territory. Using this treaty, Poland occupied Galicia, and on March 14, 1923, at a conference of ambassadors of the Allied powers, diplomatically formalized its authority over this territory.
Also in 1919, Polish troops, formed and armed by France, were already advancing eastward. The Supreme Council of the Entente recommended that Poland stop at the “Curzon Line”, accepting it as the eastern border passing through Grodno – Yalovka – Nemirov – Brest – Dorogusk – Ustylug, east of Hrubieszów, through Krylov and further west of Rava-Russkaya, east of Przemyśl to the Carpathians. However, this was just diplomatic rhetoric. Poland, instigated and armed by the Entente, seized part of the Belarusian and Ukrainian lands: Novogrudok, Polesie, Volyn region, from Russia, which was weakened by the Civil War,.
However, the Red Army managed to achieve a turning point in the war and drive the Poles back to the west. The Red Army stopped only at the gates of Warsaw. The Poles themselves call the sudden salvation of Warsaw, still not explained with sufficient historical accuracy, the “Cud nad Wisłą” or “Miracle on the Vistula”.
The result of the Red Army’s sudden retreat from Warsaw with great losses was the signing of the Border Treaty in March 1921 in Riga, according to which the western parts of Ukraine and Belarus were ceded to Poland. The border established by the Treaty of Riga did not correspond to either the ethnographic map of the settlement of the Poles or the historical borders of Poland before the three partitions. Domestic historians and most foreign researchers qualify it as a border established as a result of Poland’s aggressive actions.
“The first World War brought freedom and independence to Poland, thanks to the Russian revolution and the defeat of Austria and Germany. The Soviet Government willingly agreed to the re-establishment of the Polish State within her ethnographical frontiers, which as far as Soviet Russia was concerned meant that Poland’s eastern frontier should be ‘the Curzon Line,’ her original frontier. Had that just demarcation line been accepted, the history of Soviet-Polish relations between 1919 and 1939 might have been very different, the history of Europe might have been very different, in fact the Second World War might never have occurred. Unfortunately, in 1920 Pilsudski, encouraged no doubt by evil counselors in the Chancelleries of London and Paris, repeated the same tragic crime made by the Polish leaders six centuries earlier. Taking advantage of Soviet Russia’s preoccupation with other enemies, Polish forces invaded Russia and annexed—under the Treaty of Riga—Ukrainian and Byelorussian territory,” the English researchers W.P. and Zelda K. Coates wrote.
After that, the active polonization of the Ukrainian and Belarussian territories began. State, administrative, and judicial proceedings and correspondence were switched into Polish. Railroad tickets had Polish names of stations, and the post office and telegraph refused to accept mail and parcels in any language other than Polish.
“During the first 10 years of Polish rule in Western Ukraine, the number of public schools was reduced from 3,600 to 400-500 <…> The thesis was proclaimed – ‘there are no Russians in Poland,’ justifying the total abolition of Russian schools. According to this plan, it was proposed to switch completely to the Polish language. Those schools that wanted to keep teaching in Russian were closed.”
By that time Poland’s foreign policy began to take shape around the Jagiellonian idea, which implies expansion to the east. The practical implementation of the Jagiellonian idea was “prometheism” – a special Polish intelligence project, which began using representatives of Russophobic counterrevolution in its Ukrainian, Georgian, Tatar, and other varieties. The leaders of the Georgian emigre community proposed the name of the “Promethean project,” metaphorically associated with the legend of the freedom fighter titan Prometheus, chained, according to one the versions of the myth: to the Georgian rocks. Presenting the “enslaved peoples” in the form of a collective victim, the Polish secret services intended to act as a “Hercules,” freeing this victim – “Prometheus” – from chains and torment.
According to the authors of the article “The Prometheus Organization and the Promethean Movement in the plans of Polish intelligence for the dissolution of Russia/USSR,” based on archival materials that the Soviet Union acquired during the Second World War, this special project called for “specific actions of Polish intelligence, aimed at the territorial dismemberment of the USSR with the help of a well-organized and Polish-controlled process of forming an alliance between anti-Russian nationalist forces of various persuasions, including national separatists or national integralists.”
In 1928, a club was created in Warsaw with a long name: “‘Prometheus’ – the League of peoples oppressed by Russia: Azerbaijan, Don, Karelia, Georgia, Idel-Ural, Ingria, Crimea, Komi, Kuban, North Caucasus, Turkestan, and Ukraine.” Polish intelligence officer Edmund Haraszkiewicz supervised the “Promethean” work in Warsaw.
The Prometheus organization was unparalleled in its scope of espionage and sabotage activities against the USSR as well as in numbers and ethnic diversity of its personnel in the 1920s and 1930s.
Realizing the “Jagellonian idea” through wars of conquest and annexations, Poland in 1938, in the words of Winston Churchill, “with the greed of a hyena, took part in the robbery and destruction of the Czechoslovak state.”
Germany prevented the further development of Polish expansion. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, and less than a month later, Warsaw fell. Poland again lost its statehood, and the border troops of the Red Army stood on the “eastern Кresy.”
On the night of September 16-17, 1939, Polish ambassador to Moscow Wacław Grzybowski was summoned by Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Potemkin, who read to him a note addressed to the Polish government:
“The Polish-German War has revealed the internal bankruptcy of the Polish state. During the course of ten days’ hostilities Poland has lost all its industrial areas and cultural centers. Warsaw no longer exists as the capital of Poland. The Polish government has disintegrated, and no longer shows any signs of life. This means that the Polish State and its Government have, in fact, ceased to exist. Therefore the Agreements concluded between the U.S.S.R and Poland have ceased to operate.
Left to its own devices and bereft of leadership, Poland has become a suitable field for all manner of hazards and surprises, which might constitute a threat to the U.S.S.R. For these reasons the Soviet Government, which hitherto has preserved neutrality, can no longer observe a neutral attitude towards these facts.
The Soviet Government further cannot view with indifference the fact that the kindred Ukrainian and Belorussian people, who live on Polish territory and who are at the mercy of fate, are left defenseless.
In these circumstances, the Soviet Government has directed the High Command of the Red Army to order the troops to cross the frontier and take under their protection the life and property of the population of Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia.
At the same time, the Soviet Government proposes to take all measures to extricate the Polish people from the unfortunate war into which they were dragged by their unwise leaders, and to enable them to live a peaceful life.”
By this time, the Polish government and military commanders had fled the country. The curator of the “Promethean” project, Haraszkiewicz, also fled. After settling in Paris, he continued his ideological work and wrote a history of Prometheism.
According to some reports, part of the “Prometheus” agent network, together with the officers of the II Department of the General Staff who supervised it, were recruited by British intelligence after the outbreak of World War II. Another, much larger group of the “Promethean” agents went under the direct control of Nazi German intelligence services, with subsequent utilization in sabotage units such as “Brandenburg-800”, the “Jagdverband-Ost” and “Zeppelin” intelligence schools, as well as in the “Vineta” propaganda and translation special group within the Nazi German Ministry of Propaganda.
Poland became independent again after Soviet soldiers liberated it from the Nazi occupation by defeating the German Reich,. The Soviet-Polish border was drawn along the “Curzon Line” in such a way that Western Belarus and Western Ukraine with Lvov remained in the USSR. These changes were framed by the Treaty on the Soviet-Polish state border, signed in August 1945.
Meanwhile, Polish emigre circles began to develop the “Giedroyc-Mieroszewski Doctrine” against the USSR. The authors of the doctrine describe it like an underground form of Prometheism.
The key concept of the Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine is the so-called ULB region, named after the first letters of the Soviet republics near Poland: Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus. There are the “eastern creses”, their peoples were to become involved in ethnic conflicts, which were to be presented as a struggle for national self-determination against Russian imperialism.
Jerzy Giedroyc is considered to be the author of the doctrine. During WWII, he ended up in the army of General Anders, formed in the USSR from Poles “whose commanders were appointed by the Polish Government with the consent of the Soviet Government.”
The Polish government in exile was created on September 30, 1939, in France by Polish politicians and officers. In the summer of 1940, it moved to London, where it functioned, remaining anti-Soviet, until 1990.
In London, on July 30, 1941, the Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, Vladislav Sikorsky, and the Soviet Ambassador to Great Britain, Ivan Maisky, signed the Soviet-Polish Agreement on the restoration of diplomatic relations and mutual assistance in the war against Nazi Germany. Subsequently the Soviet treaties with Germany of 1939 concerning territorial changes in Poland were recognized as invalid.
In the meantime, the Polish army tried to evade action on the Soviet-German front in every possible way.
“They said that [the commander of the Polish Army in the USSR, General] Anders completely lost his mind, did not want to fight, but tried to sideline, avoiding any possibility of meeting with the enemy, to get into Hungary as quickly as possible. They talked about the fact that the only person who thinks and works for everyone was Major Adam Soltan, Anders’ chief of staff, and that if it weren’t for him, there would be no trace of the entire group, ” recalled Anders’ adjutant Jerzy Klimkowski.
In the army of General Anders, Jerzy Giedroyc was in charge of the press department. Later, in 1945, Giedroyc became head of the European Department of the Ministry of Information of the Polish government in London.
Since 1947, Giedroyc has been known as the publisher and author of the illegal political weekly “Kultura” and other anti-Soviet periodicals. His associate Juliusz Mieroszewski, who also served in Anders’ army, did not return to his homeland after demobilization and settled in London.
“Mieroszewski was a pundit who was inclined to the thesis that the Soviet Union would not last long, which means that it would crack along national seams. Jerzy Giedroyc agreed,” – this is how New Poland magazine will write about the authors of the ULB concept in 2013. This magazine calls itself the ideological successor of the “Kultura” magazine, founded by Jerzy Giedroyc and closed by the founder’s will after his death in 2000.
Jerzy Giedroyc and Juliusz Mieroszewski proposed a concept according to which the Poles should strive for the independence of Ukraine (i.e., the destruction of the USSR). The main obstacles in the way of the Ukrainians on the road to independence were their distrust and fear of centuries-old Polish expansionism, ruthlessly planted by fire and sword. Giedroyc and Mieroszewski called on the Poles to abandon this imperialism – that is, to forget the idea of Greater Poland until Ukraine finally gains independence.
The developers of the draft of the post-war foreign policy of Poland, successive to the aggressive “Promethean” plans, proceeded from the fact that confrontation between Poland and the USSR was futile. Poland also could not hope for military support from Western partners, for the had undermined any trust in themselves by abandoning Poland in World War II.
“The Poles, not the Russians, survived the shock of the Warsaw Uprising, the shock caused by the behavior of the allies who abandoned Poland. <…> Our traditional concept of Poland as a bastion of Western civilization collapsed. We were betrayed by our own history, to which we erected altars in literature, painting, and music. We could not make a more terrible discovery for the people: we discovered that history is a draft of notes from a ‘house of the dead,’ and not a living past, confirmed in the present day, ” – with such desperation Juliusz Mieroszewski was describing the confusion of the Polish elite.
He also proposed to implement the concept of non-classical wars in the eastern direction, in which a significant place was given to national conflicts. They were to unfold in the ULB region, on those very “eastern outskirts” that the Polish elite considered their own, and the Polish anti-Soviet emigres allegedly urged to abandon the idea of returning them.
“Furious anti-communism reigns in the [Polish] emigre community, breeding only bestial hatred for Russia,” wrote Juliusz Mieroszewski. “This anti-communism lacks a moral scope, for it is fused with national egoism and even narrow nationalism. The ‘Gulag’ interests us only insofar as in this pyramid of tortured bodies and souls, we can find hope for the death of Russia, which, in turn, would allow us to return Vilna, Lvov, and maybe something else to Poland.”
The first goal of the Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine was to convince the Poles themselves to give up their desire for imperialism and forget the dream of the return of the “Kresy.”
The second goal is to reassure the Ukrainians and convince them of the harmlessness of the Poles, of Poland’s complete and final renunciation of any territorial claims whatsoever. “The Giedroyc doctrine postulated a fundamental break with the Jagiellonian paradigm, declaring it imperial and therefore unacceptable in the modern world. However, it did not call for a return to the times of Piast. On the contrary, all the attention focused on the need for a new active policy in the East, a policy on new grounds and new goals. Now the main goal of Poland is the independence of the ULB region from Russia. The key to this is the formation of full-fledged Polish influence in these territories, which easily reanimates, if necessary, the ‘noble Jagiellonian idea,’ from which the doctrine, as it were, calls to renounce,” – writes historian and political scientist Oleg Nemensky.
Having confided in the Poles, the Ukrainians must gain independence not without outside help – this is the third but not the last part of the doctrine.
“The most successful ‘operation’ under this doctrine is considered to be the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine,” Nemensky writes.
This means that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the process of liberation of the “enslaved peoples” did not stop, but entered a different, tougher phase.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza on May 10, 2010:
“It is now clear that it will not be easy to deal with our Eastern partners for many years to come. <…> It is worth adding that those communities of Ukrainians who desire independence more than others are generally not fervent in their love for Poland. So, the idea of Giedroyc, the political and moral legacy of the circles of the Paris-based periodical Kultura, is still relevant. We need to keep our hand on the pulse of Ukraine and Russia. And help Ukraine to build a stable state.”
Thus, the doctrine concerns not only Ukrainian independence, but also building a “stable state.” And what can stand in the way of Ukraine’s stability?
In December 2013, former Polish Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński spoke at the Euromaidan. After expressing his support for the “orange revolution”, Kaczyński ended his speech with the Bandera Nazis’ greeting, “Glory to Ukraine!” “Glory to the Heroes!” the crowd responded.
Long before the maidans and even long before the disintegration of the USSR, Jerzy Giedroyc was already aware of what “devil for the dirty work” he and Juliusz Mieroszewski wanted to use in Ukraine:
“This [dissident] movement is still strong, even stronger than in Russia itself. It encompasses not only narrow circles of the intelligentsia, but is also deeply rooted in the academic environment, and most importantly, in the masses. And this is not so nice, because this movement often takes on a Nazi nature. Practically speaking, in the masses first of all the slogan ‘slaughter the Communists and Russians’ and similar sentiments resonates.”
After the USSR, Russia should also be disintegrated. Only then the Polish elites, gathered around the concept of Giedroyc-Mieroszewski, will be able to discard their peace-loving masks and show their until now concealed thirst for domination. The tools for the disintegration of the Russian Federation are still the same: national conflicts, in which bellicose “Ukrainism,” “Georgianism” and similar constructs with orientation on the slogan “slaughter the Communists and Russians”, play first fiddle.
Giedroyc did not hide the perspectives of his doctrine. In 1981, he described these perspectives:
“You know, I dream of it like this: it would be nice if it came to a scandal. <…> То the new world war. <…> Everything would collapse. Everything. And it would be possible to travel from the English Channel to the Arctic Ocean. On machine-gun carts. There would be unheard of chaos. I think it will be an anarchist revolution. And everywhere, there is ground for this. No ideology – all of today’s youth, what is in their head, will take the floor. Terrible things will happen.”
The Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine is rarely mentioned by official politicians and diplomats due to the boscurity and duality of its essence. Given these circumstances, it is of particular value the fact that Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland under Kwasniewski, said:
“I don’t think that in the ‘70s and even later, Alexander Kwasniewski assumed that if he ever began to exert a decisive influence on politics, he would recognize Jerzy Giedroyc as the greatest authority and his political thought as a road sign. Kwasniewski had the courage to say this not only to himself but – as the president of the state – declared it publicly. He became a champion of the idea of ULB and building a new Eastern Europe in accordance with the vision of Giedroyc and Mieroszewski.”
The insincerity of the Polish policy towards Ukraine was demonstrated in November 2014 by Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetina.
“I believe that any serious conversation about Ukraine’s future or the search for an answer to the question of how to end the conflict should take place in our presence. Discussing Ukraine without Poland is like deciding the fate of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, without asking Italy, France, Spain,” the minister admitted in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.
But if you take such a point of view, then it must be said that talking about the fate of Poland itself without Russia is the same as talking about the Kingdom of Poland without the Russian Empire.
This is the translation of Chapter II of the multi-authored monograph “Ukrainism: Who constructed it and why” first published in 2017 and re-published on the Rossa Primavera News Agency‘s web-site on March 5, 2022. This research work was written by the members of Aleksandrovskoye commune, which is part of the School of Higher Meanings of the Essence of Time movement and is supported by the members of the Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation.
Dr. Sergey Kurginyan is a political and social leader of the Essence of Time movement, theater director, philosopher, political scientist, and head of the Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation.
Speaking about the topic of the monograph “Ukrainism: Who constructed it and why”, Sergey Kurginyan explained, “We are studying Ukrainism, not Ukraine. Our subject is Ukrainism as a construct. The creation of this construct, its characteristics, its consecutive transformation, its implementation, and finally its outlook―this is the focus of our study, which is thus fundamentally different from a normal historical or sociological study of a normal Ukraine”.