This article originally appeared on Myśl Polska. You can read it in Polish here.
Unexpectedly for the majority of Poles, Vladimir Putin attacked Poland twice in the last days of December 2019. Remembering Poland’s participation in the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1938, he accused Poland of joint responsibility for the outbreak of World War II.
On one had, while stigmatizing the Polish ambassador Józef Lipski in Berlin for his note of September 20, 1938 – in which he asserted that Poland would erect a monument to Hitler if Germany was successful in her plan to deport Jews to Africa – Putin accused Poland of anti-Semitism. Why did this happen? Since the collapse of the USSR until 2014, Polish-Russian relations – despite our accession to NATO and the EU – were good. Historical policy had ceased to be the subject of sharp disputes, in part because in 1993 Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Federation apologized for Katyn – under the Katyn cross at the Powązki Cemetery.
On November 26, 2010, the Russian Duma condemned the Katyn massacre, adopting a resolution declaring it a crime of the Stalinist regime – in a vote supported by 342 MPs; only 57 members of the communist faction were against, nobody abstained. A similar path was drawn for the Russian side to recognize the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as the ultimate cause of the outbreak of World War II. This was indicated by the statement of Vladimir Putin, who during the celebrations in Gdańsk in 2009, the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of this war, described it as immoral. The recognition of the Nazi-Communist Treaty of Non-Aggression as an immoral act by the Russian Duma was a real possibility. This happened because at the time Russia and Poland were still engaging in political dialogue and there was an atmosphere of cooperation. The most important was that Poland, expecting recognition in this dialogue on the historical truth about our fate, did not take hostile actions against Russia September 17, 1939 to the collapse of the USSR. […]
There were many indications that the path to reconciliation had been taken and that no outsiders would turn Poland or Russia away from it. Those Poles who had sincere intentions in this respect did everything to make historical policy a meeting in truth, not a form of retaliation and humiliation of Russia. And they differed and still differ from Mrs. Fotyga, Mr. Bielan and their EU colleagues who prepared a resolution of the European Parliament condemning German Nazism and Soviet communism (in the context of these ideologies the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact) not for reconciliation with Russia and the Russian people, but against them – in addition, in the context of various sanctions and such anti-Russian arguments of the US forces in Poland, such as the missile shield, NATO’s eastern flank, and American soldiers stationed in the country.
Historical truth needs no arguments of strength. It was therefore foreseeable that, passed as an additional political sanction, it would not reach the addressee, would not convince him at the axiological and moral level, but would only provoke a political response.
The purely political nature of Russia’s EU resolution is testified, among other things, by the fact that its Polish authors omitted the fact of cooperation of many European countries with Hitler – including from the Visegrad group, for example Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They didn’t say a word about Stalin’s associates – Churchill and Roosevelt – who at the conferences of the “big three” in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam made Poland as the biggest loser in the war and put it to the protenage of Moscow. An additional defect of the infamous resolution is the disgraceful for its authors bypassing Ukrainian Nazism, which led to the genocide of Polish citizens in Volhynia and western Galicia.
Everything according to the scenario: ours – even if they are Banderites and Neo-Banders – we save; we agree with German MEPs and jointly attack Russia, provoking its retaliation. For it was known in advance that the resolution constructed as an attack would meet opposition from Moscow.
Such actions are the reverse of those which before 2014 were to strengthen peaceful coexistence and within it cooperation between Poland and Russia. Officially, there were no anti-Polish attitudes on the Russian side. The Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Affairs operated, in 2011 intensive preparations were made in the Polish Episcopate and the Moscow Patriarchate for the first visit of the Patriarch of All Russia in our history, the text of the message for reconciliation of Polish and Russian nations was consulted, signed in Warsaw on August 17, 2012 by priest . Archbishop. Józef Michalik and Patriarch of All Russia Cyril. Cooperation with many countries flourished with Russia.
As an example there was the fruitful cooperation between 2011 and 2014 of the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the Jagiellonian University and the Department of Political Science of the Mikhail Lomonosov University in Moscow, aimed at mutual understanding and defining the axiological foundations of contemporary Polish-Russian relations. Four conferences held in Moscow and Krakow and post-conference volumes published in Polish and Russian demonstrated the consensus of both university environments in finding a will and a way to regulate mutual relations: subjectivity and dialogue, political culture, universal moral values. The Russians accepted the offer of Cracow professors: Lucjan Suchanek, Hanna Kowalska-Stus and Anna Raźny – to define the listed values as Christian due to their participation in shaping the culture of our nations. There are many similar examples.
Who is responsible for the anti-Russian direction of Polish policy?
How did it happen that Poland suddenly became an enemy of Russia in 2014, and now President Putin is retaliating against us? Who provoked this? And most importantly: who benefited from it? Who is responsible for this state of affairs?
The clearly outlined vision of peaceful coexistence and cooperation collapsed sharply in 2014. By engaging in a coup in Ukraine and supporting Kiev’s civil war against the rebellious Donbass, Poland has suddenly become Russia’s greatest enemy. Not because our enemy has to be our raison d’etat, but because Polish Atlanticists have decided to pursue global interests of transatlantic players at the expense of Poland. For this, the insane concept of Jerzy Giedroyc’s eastern policy was used, according to which the construction of great Ukraine in the Stalinist-Khrushchev geographical shape – including Crimea – is a guarantee of Poland’s security from Russia. The narrative of Warsaw – which is still fighting fiercely with the remains of communism – about the integrity of Ukraine in its communist shape is not only a testament to the double standards of the Vistula Atlantists, but also their intellectual weakness.
“Poland has suddenly become Russia’s greatest enemy. Not because our enemy has to be our raison d’etat, but because Polish Atlanticists have decided to pursue global interests of transatlantic players at the expense of Poland”
Similarly, the thesis on violation of the Yalta order by the return of Crimea to Russia. After all, the first act of violating this order was the merger of Germany without any referendum. Another – the breakup of Yugoslavia and the accompanying wars with weeks of bombing Serbia by the US and NATO. The creation of the artificial state of Kosovo, which Poland immediately recognized, was only the culmination of this stage of geopolitical destruction of Europe, which clearly went beyond the usual boundaries of international law. Since the coup in Ukraine, all of Warsaw’s international activities have been subordinated to the fight against Russia. Russobobia and Ukrainianophilia became determinants of Polish patriotism. They are accompanied by the militarization of the national identity in the NATO version. In this respect, the ruling camp is one with the opposition, while failing to building your own modern army and its defensive potential.
Warsaw calls for a peculiar race within NATO against Russia – in spending the notorious 2 percent of GDP on armaments, which is usually bought from American companies, and in the case of Poland does not meet our needs. NATO’s eastern flank, the American anti-missile shield in Redzikowo, the US Air Force and over 4,000 American soldiers in Poland – they are not scouting, but and there are preparations for war with Russia.
“Since the coup in Ukraine, all of Warsaw’s international activities have been subordinated to the fight against Russia. Russobobia and Ukrainianophilia became determinants of Polish patriotism.”
American-NATO brainwashing reached its climax when Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło – so eagerly appearing in Polish churches as a Catholic Prime Minister – welcomed American soldiers in Żagań as “the greatest army in the world”, consciously and thoughtfully falsifying her image at the moment. It is well known that this army is responsible for the permanent war in the Middle East, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the exclusion of millions from normal life, the nomadic way of life in refugee camps – and more millions of sufferers including the genocide of Christians in this area.
In this situation, the public opinion in Poland, manipulated by such rhetoric, could have considered it normal for Catholic media to join the anti-Russian campaign and pro-NATO propaganda, which “Nasz Dziennik” has been aiming for so far. It was also considered normal to organize conferences in honor of NATO not only at state universities, but also at the Catholic WSMiP in Toruń. And this was a sign that the call for reconciliation of nations from August 2012 was canceled – and at the same time a signal that no one who would like to work for peaceful coexistence with Russia will receive support from the Church in Poland.
There was a whole series of hostile acts against Moscow – motivated solely by Ukrainian and transatlantic narratives. These include not only sanctions against Russia, which Poland is constantly demanding on an equal footing with Ukraine, or the blocking of Nord Stream 2, but above all the demolition of monuments in honor of Red Army soldiers – despite the agreement signed with Russia in 1994 on the protection of memorial sites – including also monuments. Hostile actions against Russia have never been subjected to any solid political analysis or moral reflection, on the contrary, they were considered positive and patriotic.
Is there a positive solution to the Polish-Russian conflict?
In light of the above, President Putin’s attack on Poland at the level of historical politics should be considered a delayed act of retaliation confirming the wisdom of the warning from the Book of Hosea spoken to the sons of Israel, who broke the covenant with God: “They are sowing the wind, they will gather a storm”. However, this statement does not close the case. It is also important here that the attack of the Russian president struck with equal force both atlanticists who want war with Russia and national-conservative environments striving for peaceful coexistence with it. I belong to the latter and I must say that President Putin’s statements hurt us more than the party of war bringing together the ruling camp of Poland and the opposition. For they have dismissed the prospect of reconciliation and, in addition, have called into question dozens of our publications, conferences and discussions drawing the option of cooperation – above all in the field of conservative values, the traditional family model or the marriage of a woman and a man.
“There was a whole series of hostile acts against Moscow – motivated solely by Ukrainian and transatlantic narratives. Hostile actions against Russia have never been subjected to any solid political analysis or moral reflection, on the contrary, they were considered positive and patriotic.”
The fact that Russia’s response to Poland’s hostile actions against her occurs at a time when Jewish organizations, as well as President Trump and the US Congress, will demand from us the implementation of the JUST Act 447, cancels our hopes that Moscow will be in this matter if not on our side, at least in a neutral position. Vladimir Putin made it clear that he supported the Jewish side. After all, the Atlanticists, who formed a war party with Russia in Poland, worked hard for such a turn of events. It remains to look for an answer to the question, why the EU resolution was adopted now – when Poland is threatened by the American law? Does this result from the blindness and intellectual weakness of the authors of this resolution, or from their cunning in cooperation with the American-Jewish side?
The matter is ambiguous and so unclear that it is difficult to answer to President Putin and incidentally creates a sense of unity between peace supporters with Russia and those who have made many preparations for the war with her. The more so because a peaceful attitude does not mean giving up historical truth – in this case about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – and war degrades it. Only a peaceful attitude guarantees a meeting with Russia in truth and indicates the need for reconciliation. So what is the unity of Poles towards Russia about the war party? The fundamental question is: what do we want – war with Russia or peace?
Prof. Anna Raźny