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Ukrainians in Poland

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Title: Ukrainians in Poland  
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Ukrainians in Poland

Ukrainian minority in Poland
Kievan Rus Foundation of St. Vladimir in Kraków with courtyard patio of a fine dining restaurant
Total population
51,000 (Census 2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
North east: Olsztyn, Elbląg; north west: Słupsk, Koszalin; south west: Legnica and Wrocław
Ukrainian  · Polish

The Ukrainian minority in Poland (Ukrainian: Українці, Ukrayintsi, Polish: Ukraińcy) is composed of approximately 51,000 people according to the Polish census of 2011. Some 38,000 respondents named Ukrainian as their first identity (28,000 as their sole identity), 13,000 as their second identity, and 21,000 declared Ukrainian identity jointly with Polish nationality.[1]

Most numerous concentrations of Ukrainians are in the north-east (Olsztyn and Elbląg), north-west (Słupsk and Koszalin) and south-west of Poland (Legnica and Wrocław). The Ukrainian language was taught at 162 schools in the year 2005–2006 attended by 2,740 Ukrainian students.[2]

Ukrainian and Ruthenian language in Poland based on Polish census of 1931
Ukrainians in Poland, 2002. The map

Cultural life

Main Ukrainian organizations in Poland include: Association of Ukrainians in Poland (Związek Ukraińców w Polsce), Association of Ukrainians of Our Voice (Nasze Słowo) weekly, and Над Бугом і Нарвою (Nad Buhom i Narwoju) bimontly.[2]

The most important Ukrainian festivals and popular cultural events include: Festival of Ukrainian Culture in Sopot ("Festiwal Kultury Ukraińskiej" w Sopocie), Youth Market in Gdańsk ("Młodzieżowy Jarmark" w Gdańsku), Festival of Ukrainian Culture of Podlasie (Festiwal Kultury Ukraińskiej na Podlasiu "Podlaska Jesień"), "Bytowska Watra", "Spotkania Pogranicza" in Głębock, Days of Ukrainian Culture in Szczecin and Giżycko ("Dni Kultury Ukraińskiej"), Children Festival in Elbląg (Dziecięcy Festiwal Kultury w Elblągu), "Na Iwana, na Kupała" in Dubicze Cerkiewne, Festival of Ukrainian Children Groups in Koszalin (Festiwal Ukraińskich Zespołów Dziecięcych w Koszalinie), "Noc na Iwana Kupała" in Kruklanki, Ukrainian Folklor Market in Kętrzyn (Jarmark Folklorystyczny "Z malowanej skrzyni"), Under the Common Skies in Olsztyn ("Pod wspólnym niebem"), and Days of Ukrainian Theatre (Dni teatru ukraińskiego) also in Olsztyn.[2]

History, and trends

Since World War II

After the quashing of a Ukrainian insurrection at the end of World War II by the Soviet Union, about 140,000 Ukrainians residing within the new Polish borders were forcibly moved to northern and western Poland during Operation Vistula, settling the former German territories ceded to Poland at the Tehran Conference of 1943.

Ukrainian Settlement Permits and Temporary Residence Permits since Poland's EU accession[3]
 Permits / Year   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   Total 
 Permanent Settlement Permits 1,905  1,654  1,438  1,609  1,685  1,280  9,571 
 Temporary Residence Permits 8,518  8,304  7,733  7,381  8,307  8,489  48,736 
 Grand total 58,303 
 Source: EU Membership Highlights Poland's Migration Challenges, Warsaw

Since 1989, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a new wave of Ukrainian immigration, mostly of jobseekers, tradesmen, and vendors, concentrated in larger cities with established market. After the Poland's 2004 accession to the European Union, in order to meet the requirements of the Schengen zone (an area of free movement within the EU), the government was forced to make immigration to Poland more difficult for the people from Belarus and Russia including Ukraine. Nevertheless, Ukrainians consistently receive the most settlement permits and the most temporary residence permits in Poland (see table).[3] As a result of the Eastern Partnership, Poland and Ukraine have reached a new agreement replacing visas with simplified permits for Ukrainians residing within 30 km of the border. Up to 1.5 million people would benefit from this agreement which took effect on July 1, 2009.[4] Following the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, including its illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea ("Helsinki Declaration"),[5] the situation changed dramatically. Poland began taking in large numbers of refugees from the Ukraine conflict as part of the EU's refugee programme.[6] The policy of strategic partnership between Kiev and Warsaw was extended to military and technical cooperation,[7][8] but the more immediate task, informed Poland's State secretary Krzysztof Szczerski, was the Ukraine's constitutional reform leading to broad decentralization of power.[7]

The total of 27,172 people declared Ukrainian nationality in the Polish census of 2002. Most of them lived in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (11,881), followed by West Pomeranian (3,703), Podkarpackie (2,984) and Pomeranian Voivodeship (2,831).[2] Some Lemkos (recognized in Poland as distinct ethnic group) regard themselves as members of the Ukrainian nation, while others distance themselves from Ukrainians.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Przynależność narodowo-etniczna ludności – wyniki spisu ludności i mieszkań 2011. GUS. Materiał na konferencję prasową w dniu 29. 01. 2013. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e (Polish) Mniejszości narodowe i etniczne w Polsce on the pages of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^

Further reading

  • Roman Drozd: Droga na zachód. Osadnictwo ludności ukraińskiej na ziemiach zachodnich i północnych Polski w ramach akcji «Wisła». Warszawa: 1997. OCLC 435926521
  • Roman Drozd, Igor Hałagida: Ukraińcy w Polsce 1944–1989. Walka o tożsamość (Dokumenty i materiały). Warszawa: 1999.
  • Roman Drozd, Roman Skeczkowski, Mykoła Zymomrya: Ukraina — Polska. Kultura, wartości, zmagania duchowe. Koszalin: 1999.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukraińcy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918–1989). T. I. Słupsk-Warszawa: 2000.
  • Roman Drozd: Polityka władz wobec ludności ukraińskiej w Polsce w latach 1944–1989. T. I. Warszawa: 2001.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukraińcy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918–1989). T. II: "Akcja «Wisła». Warszawa: 2005.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukraińcy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918–1989). T. III: «Akcja „Wisła“. Słupsk: 2007.
  • Roman Drozd, Bohdan Halczak: Dzieje Ukraińców w Polsce w latach 1921–1989. Warszawa: 2010.
    • Дрозд Р., Гальчак Б. Історія українців у Польщі в 1921–1989 роках / Роман Дрозд, Богдан Гальчак, Ірина Мусієнко; пер. з пол. І. Мусієнко. 3-тє вид., випр., допов. – Харків : Золоті сторінки, 2013. – 272 с.
  • Roman Drozd: Związek Ukraińców w Polsce w dokumentach z lat 1990–2005. Warszawa: 2010.
  • Halczak B. Publicystyka narodowo – demokratyczna wobec problemów narodowościowych i etnicznych II Rzeczypospolitej / Bohdan Halczak. – Zielona Góra : Wydaw. WSP im. Tadeusza Kotarbińskiego, 2000. – 222 s.
  • Halczak B. Problemy tożsamości narodowej Łemków / Bohdan Halczak // in: Łemkowie, Bojkowie, Rusini: historia, współczesność, kultura materialna i duchowa / red. nauk. Stefan Dudra, Bohdan Halczak, Andrzej Ksenicz, Jerzy Starzyński . Legnica – Zielona Góra: Łemkowski Zespół Pieśni i Tańca "Kyczera", 2007 pp. 41–55 .
  • Halczak B. Łemkowskie miejsce we wszechświecie. Refleksje o położeniu Łemków na przełomie XX i XXI wieku / Bohdan Halczak // in: Łemkowie, Bojkowie, Rusini – historia, współczesność, kultura materialna i duchowa / red. nauk. Stefan Dudra, Bohdan Halczak, Roman Drozd, Iryna Betko, Michal Šmigeľ . Tom IV, cz. 1 . – Słupsk - Zielona Góra : [b. w.], 2012 – s. 119–133 .
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