Visiting Warsaw on June 27, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, requested forgiveness from “every Polish family who lost relatives from the hands of my compatriots” in the 1943 massacres in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.
The Volhynia massacre has been a thorn in relations between Kiev and Warsaw since the fall of communism. An estimated 100,000 Poles were killed in ethnic-cleansing operations carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) between March 1943 and the end of 1944 in Nazi-occupied Poland. Polish retaliation attacks claimed lives of some 20,000 Ukrainians.
Polish archbishop Józef Michalik said Shevchuk’s appeal was “a sign of sound and brave patriotism, free of nationalist or backward thinking”.