On July 11, 1943, a bloody Polish-Ukrainian confrontation began in Volyn. In Poland and Ukraine, discussions about the causes, consequences and assessment of the mentioned confrontation, starting from 2003, have gained extraordinary political and historical sharpness. They went beyond the scientific study of this issue. In 2016, deputies of the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland, as well as the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, joined this process.

It should be recognized that a consensus has not yet been found in Ukraine and a position regarding the Polish-Ukrainian conflict that began in Volyn has not been clearly articulated. In Polish society, there has been an evolution in the perception of those events – from the popularization of this topic in society and attempts to establish a dialogue with Ukraine to the unilateral recognition in 2016 of July 11 as the official Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of Poles in Volyn.

On July 7, 8 and 9, 2023, Poland and Ukraine will host church celebrations on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Volyn crime. They will be accompanied by the announcement of the joint message “Forgiveness and Reconciliation” of the Catholic Church in Poland, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine.

On this occasion, the Catholic Information Agency (KIA) organized a special session for journalists in Warsaw on June 19, 2023. At the session, the clergy talked about the modern process of Polish-Ukrainian dialogue and reconciliation. A detailed program of this year’s church events was also presented.

KIA also invited two researchers to participate in the session – director of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, doctor of history, professor Grzegorz Motyka and chief researcher of the Department of Theory and History of Political Science of our Institute, doctor of historical sciences, professor Yuriy Shapoval.

During the session

In the photo (from left to right): Head of the Catholic Information Agency Marcyn Przecyszewski, Professor Grzegorz Motyka, Professor Yuriy Shapoval and other participants of the session

 The scientists familiarized those present with the approaches of Polish and Ukrainian scientists to the interpretation of the Volyn tragedy in the context of the Second World War and the current state of Polish-Ukrainian relations. G. Motyka delivered a report “Volyn crime in the light of historical research”, and Yu. Shapoval – “Volyn 1943: how to do research and how to remember?”.

The participants of the session answered numerous questions of journalists and attendees.