While visiting the Ukrainian village of Kostyukhnivka – a site of First World War clash between the Polish Legions under Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire – Poland’s Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski stressed the importance of perpetuating Polish-Ukrainian dialogue in the upper echelons of both state’s governments.
“The words ‘common’ and ‘dialogue’ need to be stressed here as we brought together in a place important to Poland, history and future,” said Mr Karczewski, adding that Kostyukhnivka is also crucial to “the Polish-Ukrainian dialogue.”
The speaker stressed that the dialogue “needs to continue in the upper presidential and parliamentary echelons.” Having seen scouts cleaning up graves and memorials dedicated to the Polish soldiers fallen in the Battle of Kostiuchnówka, modern day Kostyukhnivka, on July 4–6, 1916, the statesman praised their attitude and hard work.
Mr Karczewski said that graves and statues are immensely important to the collective Polish-Ukrainian remembrance. The speaker said he would discuss the topic of Polish heritage in Ukraine during his forthcoming meeting with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I will tell him about this place [the cemetery of Kostyukhnivka], about the crosses that may be found here, about what you [the scouts] are doing here, about the dialogue conducted by local authorities and about the one that ought to be conducted by politicians,” said the official.
Mr Karczewski added that while the commemorative ceremonies in Kostyukhnivka were proceeding, a funeral of a young Ukrainian killed in the military conflict in East Ukraine was taking place in a nearby cemetery.
“We must tell Europe that here in Ukraine is an ongoing war and that we do not want this war,” said the statesman, adding that “we must pass on the ‘no more wars’ slogan. Political talks should stop the deaths of Ukrainian citizens and prevent spilling Polish, Ukrainian and any other nation’s blood once and for all.”
Following the commemorative ceremony during which Mr Karczewski laid wreaths and candle lights on Polish graves, the official met with the local scouts and Poles of the Lutsk Consular District.