DNA of relatives needed to identify Polish victims buried in Ukraine

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) has appealed to relatives of Polish victims murdered in Ukraine to provide their DNA samples in order to identify the buried bodies.

The appeal is connected to the recent decision of Ukraine’s President to lift a ban on searching for, and exhumations of, Polish victims buried in Ukraine.

The samples given to the Institute of National Remembrance will help identify Polish victims killed by Ukrainian nationalists during WWII.

The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), along with the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists-Revolutionists/Banderists (OUN-R/B), is a Ukrainian insurgent organisation responsible for the Volhynia Massacre that saw 40,000-60,000 Poles and hundreds of Ukrainians brutally exterminated in 1943 according to the puristic Ukrainian-nationalist ideology of Stepan Bandera, in line with which Ukraine ought to be purged of “foreign elements”.

Andrzej Pozorski from the IPN has stressed that DNA samples of even very distant relatives can be crucial in identifying the bodies of Polish victims. The Institute has also stressed that only a cheek swab is necessary to provide a sample.