Periodization of development of ethnic relations of western Ukraine and Poland (1918–1939)

Lilia Pylypenko, Serhii Bilan


The article makes an attempt to investigate the peculiarities and determine the regularities of cooperation between the Ukrainian and Polish states during the time of the Second Rzeczpospolita, to recreate the overall picture of events and their subsequent influence on the relations between the two countries. Analysis of the concepts of activities of various representatives of the Polish government is presented, which helps to prove that Poland's constant struggle for spheres of influence in the international arena led to unpleasant consequences that claimed the lives of the representatives of many nations, including Ukrainians and Poles. At the same time, the struggle of the Polish national chauvinists and the Ukrainian patriotic forces did not allow Ukrainians to defend the sovereignty of its state, since the military-political situation in the region, the position of the Entente countries, as well as the ethnic relations of the region did not contribute to this. The attempt to normalize the Ukrainian-Polish relations in the Second Commonwealth did not bring the expected results because it was not seen by the government as a positive solution to the problem. Having negatively impacted the life of Ukrainians, these actions were remembered as the last wasted attempt to improve the situation on the eve of the Second World War. Ukrainians in such a difficult situation were forced to adjust to the requirements of time, and therefore quite often changed the vector of activity toward the cultural and social direction. The intellectuals were fighting for the right to teach in Ukrainian in schools, preserving traditions and gaining minor rights and privileges. The positions of the Polish government, in this case, remained unchanged, with the exception of the insignificant tolerant statements of its individual representatives. Consequently, Polish politics did not achieve the desired results.


Ukraine; Poland; sanation; pacification; UNDO; international relations; Eastern Galicia; assimilation; polonization

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