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    Majority of Poles Believe Ukraine Should Apologise Over Volhynia Massacre

    A recent survey conducted by the renowned CBOS pollster has revealed that an overwhelming majority of the Polish population believes that Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, should issue an official apology for the Volhynia massacre. This brutal event took place during World War II when approximately 100,000 Poles lost their lives at the hands of the ultra-nationalist Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Despite the close bonds forged between the two nations in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the massacre continues to cast a dark shadow over Polish-Ukrainian relations. 

    Between 1943 and 1944, the Volhynia and Eastern Galicia regions of pre-war eastern Poland (now part of western Ukraine) witnessed a series of brutal killings that have come to be known as the Volhynia massacre. The OUN, an ultra-nationalist group, targeted and slaughtered around 100,000 Poles during this period. These horrific acts left an indelible mark on the historical narrative of both nations and have become a crucial point of contention between Poland and Ukraine.

    The CBOS pollster’s research indicates that 92% of the Polish population is aware of the Volhynia massacre, highlighting the significance of this event in their collective memory. Moreover, an astounding 78% of respondents believe that President Volodymyr Zelensky should issue an official apology to acknowledge the atrocities committed by the OUN. 

    The poll further reveals that 50% of those surveyed firmly responded ‘Yes, he should apologize,’ while an additional 28% expressed the opinion that an apology should be made after the war concludes. Conversely, 13% of respondents believed that an apology was unnecessary, while 9% did not offer an opinion on the matter.

    Interestingly, the CBOS survey also indicates that Polish-Ukrainian relations have seen a significant improvement over the past five years. The percentage of Poles who perceive the relations between the two nations as good has more than doubled, rising from 29% in 2018 to an encouraging 64% at present. Only a mere 4% of respondents consider the current state of affairs between Poland and Ukraine to be negative or unfavourable.

    The CBOS pollster conducted the survey using a mixed-mode procedure, reaching out to a representative sample of 1,054 adult residents of Poland. The data collection took place between June 5 and June 18, 2023, ensuring a comprehensive and timely analysis of public sentiment regarding the Volhynia massacre and the demand for an apology.



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