Ukraine in the Strategic Plans of Polish Politicians at the End of World War I

  • Post Category:Issue XX

Yurii Zemskyi
Doctor of History, Professor at the Department of International Relations and Tourism of Khmelnytskyi National University
ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8085-0977

Valerii Diachok
Ph.D. in History, AssociSTate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Tourism of Khmelnytskyi National University

DOI https://doi.org/10.37837/2707-7683-2019-1

Abstract. The article analyses the content of the strategies used by leading Polish politicians for the revival of Polish statehood. Those strategies were adjusted by leading Polish politicians in accordance with major shifts in international relations on the eve and during World War I. Polish politicians defended their national interests, with regard to the sentiment and demands of the war-time and post-war Polish society. Sometimes they lacked the political will to make unpopular decisions, nevertheless balanced from the standpoint of historical justice.
The authors of the article analyse the Polish historiography, namely a certain tradition, ac-cording to which the process of the revival of the Polish national state of the early 20th century is presented in somewhat glowing terms, with elements of exaggeration. The nature and causes of pro-Russian aspirations of the National-Democratic Party headed by Roman Dmowski as well as Germanophilia of Social Democrats headed by Józef Piłsudski are explained. The positions of the mentioned political leaders and their differences are highlighted.
J. Piłsudski and R. Dmowski shared a common goal which consisted in the revival of an independent Polish state. However, their strategic calculations for how to achieve it focused on the opposite sides of the conflict in World War I. Since Ukraine became a field of clash of competitive forces at that time, the Ukrainian question was an indispensable component of the plans of Polish politicians.
The article shows the place and role of Ukraine in the leading concepts of Polish politicians. The importance of flexibility of tactical actions in the field of international relations is justified as a prerequisite for the maximum realization of strategic national interests.
This historical experience is enlightening and encourages us to look more closely at the essence of past events, to analyse them and compare the behaviour of our politicians with the actions of competing national forces.
Keywords: World War I, Ukraine, Roman Dmowski, Józef Piłsudski, strategies, Entente, Central Powers.

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