Upside-Down: Poland Moves to 'Reunite' with (Western) Ukraine as Mr. Zelensky Sells the Ukrainian People to the Only Bidder
Features incl. US-support for further divisions among EUropean gov'ts, unabashed pseudo-historical revisionism by Warsaw, and the end of 'Ukraine', which will be partitioned between Russia and Poland
It’s been almost two months since I specifically wrote about Poland and the ambitions espoused by its government. Citing Churchill’s infamous dictum (‘the Hyenas of Europe’), I shared a translation of a Russian news item whose gist was that Poland’s ambition somehow stood out because…
Since the initiation of Russia’s ‘special military operation’ on 24 Feb. 2022, Warsaw has been positioning itself in the vanguard of ‘Western’ ambition, most notably by calling for (NATO) ‘peacekeepers’ to be sent to Ukraine (click on the above link to my piece from 31 March for a translation of a Russian newscast on this).
As the US was quite…‘unhappy’ with that notion at the time, the swamp creatures quite explicitly told Warsaw that, if they chose to go ahead, NATO wouldn’t get involved. This somewhat cooled down Polish ambition for the moment, at least for about a month.
Russian Foreign Intelligence Warns of Polish Ambitions
By late April, Russian intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin (bio via Ministry of Truth here), now Chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) went public and announced via Ria Novosti, among other things, that they had ‘received information about plans by Warsaw and Washington to establish tight military and political control of Poland over “its historical possessions” in Ukraine.
Hold on, what is meant by that? I think a map is in order now:
Here’s more from Naryshkin:
This was an attempt to repeat the historical ‘deal’ for Poland after World War I, when the collective West represented by the Entente acknowledged Warsaw’s right first to occupy part of Ukraine to protect its population from the ‘Bolshevik threat’ and then to incorporate these territories into the Polish state.
‘The events that followed were a clear illustration of colonial orders and forced polonization as the main methods of building a “Greater Poland”’, the SVR press office quoted Naryshkin as saying.
Of course, 2022 is a great many things, but a mere repeat of the aftermath of WWI it ain’t (if anything, we may be living through a pre-war period now…). This was readily acknowledged by Naryshkin (my emphases):
This time, the first stage of the ‘reunification’ should be the introduction of Polish troops into the western regions of Ukraine under the slogan of their ‘protection against Russian aggression’. The modalities of this mission are now being discussed with the US President, Joe Biden.
‘According to preliminary agreements, it will take place without a NATO mandate, but with the participation of “willing states”. Warsaw has not yet been able to agree with the potential participants of the “coalition of like-minded”’, Naryshkin stressed.
He noted that the Polish leadership is not interested in additional witnesses to its operation, so the ‘peacekeeping contingent’ is planned to be deployed in those parts of Ukraine where the threat of direct clash with the Russian military is minimal.
Well, that, if true, would be stupid on a colossal scale, ain’t it? Also, I wouldn’t think it beyond the Russian leadership to use such information to sow discord among NATO, which is another fair criticism of these matters (and many back then have called these statements propaganda or outlandish).
Poland’s President: ‘No more border between…Poland and Ukraine’
Yet, in early May 2022, Poland’s president Andrzej Duda announced a ‘common future’ for both countries. While referring to this event not as an occupation or annexation, Mr. Duda said the following words (source here, time stamp: 00:18; translation double-checked here):
There will be no more border between our countries—Poland and Ukraine. There will be no such border! So that we live together on this earth, building and rebuilding together our common happiness and common strength, which will allow us to repel any danger or any possible threat.
Mr. Duda was speaking officially, as the below picture from the broadcast shows.
While it remains a bit unclear what Mr. Duda meant by all that (which he left unexplained), the large-scale NATO wargame ‘Defender 2022’ is currently taking place in Poland. It will last ‘until 27 May’ and include ‘approximately 18,000 people’, with, according to the Polish Ministry of Defence, ‘some 7,000 troops and 3,000 pieces of equipment in total’.
Mr. Duda Goes to Kyiv
In late May, just as NATO was ‘wargaming’ whatever in Poland, Mr. Duda popped up in Kyiv. Speaking in the Ukrainian parliament, on 23 May, his counterpart, Volodomyr Zelensky promised to propose legislation (ahem) that would go a long way towards ‘erasing’ the differences between a person holding Polish citizenship and another one holding Ukrainian citizenship.
Note, however, that this is a quite ‘unilateral’ move on part of Mr. Zelensky, i.e., there’s yet no sign of Polish reciprocity (which would be quite problematic, from the point of EU ‘law’, I suppose).
Here’s how this was reported by Poland Daily 24 (my emphases):
‘The free world has the face of Ukraine’, President Andrzej Duda said in Kyiv in his speech in Verkhovna Rada (parliament). The President of the Republic of Poland is the first head of a foreign state to appear in Verkhovna Rada since the Russian attack on Ukraine…
‘There are some voices that Ukraine should surrender to Russia’s demands…but only Ukraine has the right to decide on its own future’, the President said…
‘After Bucha, Borodianka, Mariupol, there can be no business as usual with Russia, dear presidents and prime ministers’, Polish President Andrzej Duda said during his speech in Verkhovna Rada.
‘Poland will do everything it can to help Ukraine become a EU member.’
Well, I’m quite sure that ‘everything’ means—just that: millions of Ukrainians have already entered the EU, and I think it’s highly unlikely that they will ever want to return.
In addition, I could easily see Poland and Ukraine shortly announcing a sort of ‘union state’ or the like, which would offer Kyiv a ‘backdoor’ into the EU and NATO, albeit with a twist: the price would be, of course, Ukrainian sovereignty. Now, that would be quite…something stupid.
Poland’s Problems: Who Pays?
Sure, even a ‘friendly’ take-over of (parts of) Ukraine would be, in all likelihood, something that Poland simply cannot afford. We note, in passing, the decrepit state of Ukrainian infrastructure, which is arguably even worse than its US counterpart.
Poland’s ‘plan’ (ahem) appears to be having other—Warsaw’s ‘Western partners and allies’—foot that particular bill. As reported, for instance, by RT (German) on 23 May 2022, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Moawiecki demanded that Norway (of all states) should repay some of the proceeds its oil and gas companies are making due to the insanely high prices for hydrocarbon energy.
This is hilariously idiotic, for this isn’t due to any sorts of shenanigans on part of Oslo (other than firm state support for oil and gas businesses), but due to a combination of EU Commission-instituted policies of ‘liberalising’ energy markets and Poland’s refusal to pay for Russian gas in Roubles.
In other words: it’s possible to blame ‘Brussels’ for this mess as the origin of sky-high EU energy prices, and that is true to a certain extent, but the proximate cause of Poland’s problems is—home-made. Hence, might this chatter of ‘intervention’ in Ukraine be Warsaw’s increasingly desperate attempts at identifying a way out?
This is actually borne out by Norwegian media reports, such as state broadcaster NRK’s actually helpful account (my emphases)
Norway should share the profits they make from oil and gas exports due to the war Putin started, says the Polish Prime Minister. Norway rejects the Polish proposal.
[Polish] opposition newspapers react to the Prime Minister’s statements as follows: ‘Now he has attacked another country’, with another writing that ‘now the prime minister has attacked a country we have always lived in harmony with’…
Norway’s surplus above the average in recent years due to oil and gas exports will exceed one hundred billion euros. This is unfair and they should share’, said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday [21 May 2022].
The statements came at a national youth congress where he was present. The Prime Minister encouraged Polish youth to ‘write to their friends in Norway’ about this.
‘We are all indignant at Russia, and rightly so. But ladies and gentlemen, young friends, something is wrong. Write to your young friends in Norway. They should share this gigantic surplus’, Morawiecki told the assembly.
He emphasised that Norway was in no way to blame for the war, and used the words ‘dear Norwegian friends’, before continuing: ‘Your country benefits indirectly from what is happening through the war started by Putin. It’s unfair, it’s wrong.’
You see, soon I’ll be able to offering ‘master classes’ in international relations at high consulting prices for EU politicos. Lesson #1 would be ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’. The omelette would be ‘having energy’, the ‘breaking eggs’ part would be not to pay one’s supplier.
Why would that be important? Currently, Norwegian hydrocarbon energy is sold to Poland at 5-6 times the price Russia ever asked. Yet, instead of not pissing of Moscow in every way imaginable (even though I think that’s optional for Russia), Warsaw could have simply opened a Rouble-denominated account like every other halfway sane EU member-state has done and be gotten over this problem. Instead, Poland elected confrontation, and it appears that its leaders are now ‘discovering’ that this was a very stupid thing to do, in particular if, as Warsaw appears poised, one wishes to take over (parts of) a failed state such as Ukraine.
Here’s What Russian Media Says About This
As a ‘bonus’ feature to round of this piece, here’s what Russian media outlet Vesti had to say about this just the other day.
Speaking via video link at the WEF in Davos, Vesti quotes Mr. Zelensky as follows:
‘Defend freedom and a normal, beneficial world order. This is what sanctions should be’, Volodymyr Zelensky told the West about sanctions. ‘I think that there are still no such sanctions against Russia, but there should be. An embargo on Russian oil, a complete blockade of all Russian banks without exception.’
Everyone applauded Zelensky, except for the Chinese. The delegation of diplomats from the PRC did not get up, did not join the applause, and soon left the hall, as Republican Michael McCall, a member of the House of Representatives, told CNN. ‘And then they continued to leave the hall after I took this photo. The Chinese sent a clear message: they do not support Ukraine, they do not support Zelensky’, Michael McCall stated with outrage.
Wait, there’s much more (my emphases):
There have not been such hugs since the days of the Soviet general secretaries. Operation ‘Merger’ or takeover plan—here’s what Warsaw will do in the coming months.
Legally, the takeover will be implemented through a new law, which Zelensky announced in parliament, which will confer upon Polish citizens special rights and privileges on the territory of Ukraine. According to leaked drafts, the Poles will be able to hold elected positions, manage defense enterprises, work in government, have access to secret data, be judges, and the Polish police will be able to work in Ukraine.
‘I am deeply convinced that it is time to conclude a new treaty on good neighborliness, which will take into account what we have built in our relations, at least in recent months’, Andrzej Duda suggests to Kyiv. ‘We are brothers, and there should be no borders or barriers between us. The Ukrainian and Polish peoples mentally do not share borders for a long time. Therefore, we decided to translate this into an appropriate bilateral agreement in the near future’, Zelensky promises.
That is, it is already stated in plain text that Ukrainians and Poles are one people, and, apparently, the time has come to correct the ‘mistake of 1654’, that is, the reunification of Ukraine and Russia through the efforts of Bohdan Khmelnitsky and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, before whom Ukraine was Polish outskirts. This is probably what is going on right now.
You see, if Mr. Putin calls Russians and Ukrainians ‘one people’, the slings and arrows of outrage are hurled towards the Kremlin. Yet, if Mr. Duda and Mr. Zelensky plot the same, this is a great humanitarian proposal with ancient roots in the remote past.
‘The abandonment of sovereignty, you can’t call it anything else’, commented Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is not the [Donbass] separatists, but it is the president of the country himself who transfers sovereign rights to citizens of another country—without awarding them [the Poles] citizenship of Ukraine. Sovereignty of Ukraine does not bother anyone, hence the main question is not how to preserve it, but who is anyone to give it away’, Ms. Zakharova explained [via Telegram]…
Duda promises to lobby with all his might for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. And somewhere in the presidential office, there is confidence that they will push this initiative through.
‘We—Poland, the whole of Central and Eastern Europe—believe we will break the resistance of several Western countries, which we consider groundless…Europe’s richest countries have no reason to be afraid of Ukraine’, Warsaw believes.
It suggests that Ukraine is feared in Europe like some strange beast. But when absorbed by Poland, it will not be so scary anymore. Now everyone is wondering: what will happen next: Poland’s annexation of the western territories or the turning of Ukraine into a vassal state or some sort of Warsaw protectorate?
Poland would thus become a much more serious player in the EU. So serious, in fact, that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is already offering recipes on how to take away and divide oil and gas money from Norway, which, in fact, is not even a member of the EU.
You see, if there’s any illusion on part of anyone in this affair, it’s quite likely on part of Western governments and their camp followers in state and corporate media outlets.
What Might Happen?
Well, the future is notoriously hard to predict, esp. for a historian like me. Yet, there’s one thing that can be said with some level of certainty: expect more idiocy and lunacy to come out of this.
If Polish troops venture into western Ukraine, this will probably lead to the rapid ‘Koreanisation’ of the area, i.e., I consider it likely that Moscow will simply wait for the Kyiv to make the next move (adopt that law), which will make Warsaw giddy with exuberance. Once Polish troops enter Ukraine, there will be more referenda on ‘unification’ with Russia, virtually all over the eastern and southern parts of the country that used to be known as ‘Ukraine’.
I further expect that Polish actions will be green-lighted by Washington beforehand, quite likely without informing Brussels about this—it’s another wedge issue for DC to divide the EU.
Sure, EU politicos will eventually come around, the losers will be Ukrainians—who will lose ‘their’ country, sold by Mr. Zelensky to the only interested party.
Does this still qualify as ‘madness’?