On February 23, 2023, the international conference “Imperialism under the sign of the double-headed eagle and the red star. Victims of Russian Communism and Imperialism in the 20th Century” was held in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. The event, timed to the anniversary of the beginning of Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine, was organized at the initiative of Marshal (Speaker) of the Sejm Elzhbieta Witek and Director of the Institute of National Remembrance of Poland, Karol Nawrocki.

In the context of the anniversary of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the conference aimed to show, using the examples of the historical experience of several countries, the validity of Józef Pilsudski’s thesis: “Regardless of what its government will be, Russia is a fierce imperialist. This is the main feature of its political character.”

First of all, it was about Ukraine, which defended its sovereignty in 1917–1921, and also about the struggle against Bolshevism of the Baltic peoples in 1918–1921 and about the resistance of the peoples of Transcaucasia to the Russian Bolsheviks and White Guards in 1917–1921. Special attention was paid to the Polish-Ukrainian union concluded in April 1920. It was the first attempt to create a bloc of allied states between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea under the auspices of Poland, which made it possible to stop Russian expansionism. This topic was presented and discussed at the first section of the conference. The second section discussed the “Polish operation” of the NKVD in 1938, the Soviet repressions against Polish citizens in 1939–1944, as well as the repressive actions of the communist regime against the citizens of Eastern Europe in 1944–1989.

At the conference with a report on the topic Ukraine: defense of sovereignty in 1917-1921, the Chief Researcher of the Department of Theory and History of our Institute, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Yuriy Shapoval spoke. Scientists from Latvia, Georgia, Poland, deputies of the Seimas, diplomats, and public representatives took part in the conference.

Conference participants

In the photo from left to right:  Professor Eriks Jekabsons (Latvia), Doctor of History Dariush Rogut (Poland), Doctor of History Myroslav Shumylo (Poland), Doctor of History Jan Shumskyi (Poland), Professor Yuriy Shapoval, Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland Vasyl Zvarych, Professor Mikael Bakhtadze (Georgia).