Tensions Between Ukraine & Poland Skyrocket

On Wednesday, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pavel Yablonsky told radio RMF that relations between Ukraine and Poland, a staunch friend of Ukraine’s, have not been great lately and that there is “no agreement” on many matters.

Millions of Ukrainian refugees have sought refuge in Poland since the conflict began. However, Poland is only one of several European nations worried that Ukraine, unable to export its grain to Africa and Asia because of a Russian embargo, is instead shipping it to European ports, flooding markets and harming local farmers.

This week, Polish advisor on foreign policy Marcin Przydach caused a stir by stating that Ukraine “should start to appreciate the role that Poland has played for Ukraine over the past months and years.”

Reports that Ukraine is not grateful were unacceptable and untrue, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement released Tuesday, prompting the Ukrainian government to call Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Bartosz Cichocki to the ministry.

A senior Polish politician responded angrily, suggesting that Ukraine should concentrate on the real threat posed by Russia. On social media, Krzysztof Sobolewski, a leader of Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party, said that the Polish ambassador was “the only one who stayed in Kyiv” during the conflict’s early days and that Ukraine was “playing with fire.”

Tensions run high, in general, for Ukraine after investigations reveal claims of Russian war crimes.

Over forty percent of freed Kherson region Ukrainians say they were tortured in Russian-run prison camps, with many suffering genital electrocution or other forms of sexual abuse. Global Rights Compliance’s Mobile Justice Team interviewed 43 percent of victims who reported experiencing torture and discovered that many of them had been subjected to methods such as electricity during interrogations, waterboarding, suffocation, and severe beatings.

Torture was most often used on members of the military and police enforcement. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has requested the assistance of the Mobile Justice Team in its investigation into war crimes.