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    Deputy Interior Minister: Volhynia Massacre Remains a Thorn in Polish-Ukrainian Relations

    The Volhynia Massacre is a “thorn” in Polish-Ukrainian relations, a deputy interior minister said on Tuesday, during an interview with Polish Radio 24. Wasik was questioned about the upcoming commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the tragic events known as the ‘bloody Sunday’ on July 11, 1943.

    July 11 serves as a memorial day for the approximately 100,000 Polish individuals who lost their lives between 1943 and 1944. These killings were carried out by the ultra-nationalist Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in the Volhynia and Eastern Galicia regions, which were part of pre-war eastern Poland and are now situated in western Ukraine.

    Despite the close ties between the two nations resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Volhynia Massacre continues to cast a shadow over Ukrainian-Polish relations. Wasik acknowledged this, stating, “Undoubtedly, it is a sensitive matter in Polish-Ukrainian relations.” He further emphasized the need for Poland to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, asserting that Ukraine’s fight is also in Poland’s interests.

    Wasik added, “Ukraine must emerge victorious in this war, as we cannot allow Putin’s forces to establish a presence along the River Bug,” alluding to the river that runs along a significant portion of the Polish-Ukrainian border. He emphasized the importance of addressing historical wrongs and ensuring they are remembered and taken seriously. Poland remains committed to approaching these matters with the gravity they deserve.

    Wasik concluded by stressing the necessity of an appropriate commemoration for the Polish victims of the Volhynia Massacre, stating, “It is crucial to have a fitting tribute to honor the Polish victims in Volhynia.”

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