News: 100th Anniversary of the Historical Meeting of Symon Petliura and Józef Piłsudski Celebrated in Vinnytsia
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100th Anniversary of the Historical Meeting of Symon Petliura and Józef Piłsudski Celebrated in Vinnytsia

1.jpgMay 16, 2020, Mayor Serhii Morhunov and Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Vinnytsia Damian Ciarcinski laid flowers to a commemorative tablet in honor of the meeting of Symon Petliura and Józef Piłsudski in the city, which happened in 1920. At that time of the Ukrainian Revolution, Vinnytsia was the Provisional Capital of the Ukrainian People's Republic. The young Ukrainian state fought against the Bolshevik armies. Then the Polish state was the ally. It was on May 16, 1920 when the leader of Poland, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, arrived in Vinnytsia to hold an interstate meeting with the leader of the Ukrainian People's Republic, Symon Petliura.

"It is the history of the Ukrainian people, the history of the independence of the Ukrainian nationality. This day 100 years ago, in the same weather (it was gloomy at the time, too), the leaders of the two young states, who were striving for the independence, met. These two states concluded an agreement on a military alliance about appropriate partnerships and fought together against Bolshevik Russia. Each of us has our own history of gaining independence: Poland managed to do it earlier, we did it only 30 years ago. However, at the same time, Poland has always been a faithful ally of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Currently, Poland supports us quite a lot in our struggle in the east of the country. We have an interesting story, and the most important is not to make mistakes that were made in the past in order to have Ukraine a truly free and independent state, " Serhii Morhunov, the Mayor, admitted.

Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Vinnytsia Damian Ciarcinski noted that the Ukrainian and Polish people have a lot in common: "I am very happy that 100 years ago at 10:00 a.m. Polish President Józef Piłsudski arrived in Vinnytsia and met Ataman of the Ukrainian People's Republic Symon Petliura at the railway station. This meeting was very important because there were military operations. Moreover, it was the day before Polish and Ukrainian troops reconquered Kyiv from Bolshevik rule. They marched through the whole city. It was then when these famous words were said: "There is no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine." Of course, Ukraine had to wait much longer for Independence than Poland, but I am very happy that today we are celebrating this event together. I am very grateful to the mayor Serhii Morhunov that we - representatives of two nations and states - met together at this historical place despite a situation with a pandemic. Unfortunately, the militaries are still dying in the east of Ukraine while fighting for the independence. However, I am sure that a good future awaits us. It is important for us to have a neighbor whom we trust and he trusts us, a neighbor who has an independent state."

Historical background:

A memorial plaque in honor of the meeting of Symon Petliura and Józef Piłsudski was unveiled in 2014. The plaque depicts a famous photo of the leaders of Ukraine and Poland, who greet the public from windows of a train carriage. According to one version, this photo was taken in Vinnytsia on May 16, 1920.

Meeting in Vinnytsia on May 16, 1920, at 10:00 a.m., the heads of states were at the Vinnytsia railway station, where orchestras performed the anthems of both states and accompanied the guest of honor to the center of Vinnytsia.

The leaders of the states visited key city objects of a state power, had a meeting in the city Duma, talked to representatives of societies of the Ukrainian, Polish and Jewish national communities.

The establishment of military and diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Poland in 1919-1920 was an important milestone in the history of independent Ukraine 100 years ago.