February 11, 2017 - Fort Russ News -
By J. Arnoldski -
Since the Maidan coup d'etat in February 2014, the launch of Kiev's war on Donbass, and the ensuing collapse of the Ukrianian economy, nearly two million Ukrainians have immigrated to Poland.
The massive influx of Ukrainians has been accompanied by a growing number of scandals and provocations involving Ukrainian migrants professing neo-Banderite views.
At the March of Ukrainians in Przemysl, Poland on June 26th, 2016, Banderites confronted counter-protesting Poles with the chant: "Poland has not yet perished yet, but it has to!" (a distortion of the Polish anthem's line "Poland has not perished yet"). In another telling instance, the infamous Ukrainian neo-Banderite leader, Dmitry Yarosh, promised Poles "a second Katyn massacre" while his paramilitary gangs were being armed, trained, and funded by Polish security services on Polish territory. In August, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance announced its organizing of tours of "ethnic Ukrainian lands belonging to Poland," thus threatening to spread Ukrainian neo-Nazi networks to Poland.
For Poles, this is no laughing matter. During the Second World War, Stepan Bandera's Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army murdered hundreds of thousands of Poles in what is today Western Ukraine. This was finally recognized by Poland's parliament as genocide only in July 2016 despite Kiev's feverish opposition. Nevertheless, Bandera flags are still brandished freely by Ukrainians in Poland at sports matches, for example:
While the Polish state continues to support the Kiev junta, Polish activists have taken matters into their own hands. The first major action took place in August 2015, when Polish activists organized armed anti-Banderite patrols on the Poland-Ukraine border. Now, in February 2017, the Volunteer Anti-Banderite Patrols movement has appeared on the scene.
Volunteer Anti-Banderite Patrols, or OPA, is dedicated to removing Banderite insignia from Polish territory and confronting open Banderites. The movement's website reads:
Voluntary Anti-Banderite Patrols are a grassroots, Polish civil initiative acting on the principles of a social movement.
OPA’s goal is actively discouraging the criminal ideology of Banderism whose origins lie in the genocidal practices of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
OPA engages in legal activities to realize its goals, not excluding the use of civilian arrests of persons promoting Banderism on the territory of the Republic of Poland with the aim of handing them over to state services and confiscating offensive items specified in Criminal Code Article 256, especially OUN-UIA symbols.
The Voluntary Anti-Banderite Patrols initiative is open to all people and groups seeking to implement the goals laid out in point two.
OPA does not promote or support hatred or aggression towards people of Ukrainian origin who do not agree with their state’s highjacking by neo-Banderite groups. Citizens of Ukraine with anti-Banderite views are encouraged to actively engage in OPA’s initiative.
The group's page also features instructions on how to get involved:
Have you noticed Banderite symbols or people promoting this criminal ideology?
FIRST: Get to work! Remove the red-and-black colors from Polish streets and “interview” the Banderite in front of a camera. Whether we can effectively confront the flood of Banderism depends on YOU.
SECOND: Inform us! Send your videos and photos to us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We guarantee full anonymity and do not disclose our sources.
THIRD: Distribute! Get involved int he distribution of information and recruit friends to action. We plan to develop our initiatives. We work mainly in “real life,” but the internet is our tool for disseminating information.
According to one of the movement's activists who wished to remain anonymous, OPA finally took shape after the number of confrontations between Poles and Banderite immigrants began to rise sharply. When asked just how many "actions" have taken place, the source said: “Dozens over the past year and a half. We are talking about more or less direct confrontations with Ukrainian nationalists in Poland. Around 30, I would estimate…”
Examples of such actions can be found on OPA's Facebook page. On February 3rd, OPA patrols confiscated an Azov battalion flag and Banderite insignia from a Ukrainian student.
OPA boasted on its Facebook: “We learned of the case of a teenage sympathizer of Banderism studying in Poland on Polish taxpayers’ money….We did not find the suspect, but his roommate willingly opened the door for us, so we went straight for the Banderite flag and badge of the neo-Banderite Azov battalion hung above his bed….Our proposition for him was simple: either help identify other UPA supporters, or leave Poland - we’ll pay the ticket to Kiev.”
On February 8th, OPA activists confiscated a Banderite-colored jacket from a Ukrainian yelling "glory to the heroes" in the center of Warsaw.
When asked whether OPA's actions are resultant of the Polish state's support for neo-Banderism in Ukraine, Fort Russ' source replied: "Absolutely, yes. There are millions of Ukrainians in Poland, a significant portion of whom have Banderite views. This is the aftermath of the Euromaidan which was partially the work of our ‘elites.’ Polish security services do not at all take seriously the issue of a nascent Ukrainian nationalist underground in Poland.”
The source concluded: "We want this movement to have the most painful and difficult birth pains as possible."
As Ukrainian immigration to Poland continues to assume a massive scale and the Polish state persists in avoiding to address the problem of neo-Banderism, initiatives like Volunteer Anti-Banderite Patrols are likely to grow, as are Polish-Ukrainian tensions in general.
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