Warsaw Agreement 1920

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From left: Gen. Antoni Listowski, Symon Petlura, Col. Volodymyr Salśkyj, Col. Marko Bezruczko, Ukrainian and Polish officers – Kiev expedition, April 1920

The Warsaw Agreement (ukr. Варшавський договір) – a secret international agreement between the Republic of Poland (Second Republic) and the Ukrainian People’s Republic (URL) concluded on April 21, 1920 in Warsaw, during the Polish-Bolshevik war.

In it, the Polish government recognized the existence of the URL and renounced claims to lands extending to the 1772 eastern border of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The URL government recognized the Polish-Ukrainian border on the Zbruch River and crossing Volhynia east of Zdolbunov (leaving Rivne and Krzemieniec on the Polish side) and further north to the Pripyat line. This meant that Ukraine relinquished the territories lying west of the border line specified in the agreement[1]. Both countries pledged not to enter into international agreements directed against each other, and guaranteed the rights of the Ukrainian population in Poland and the Polish population in Ukraine. On the Polish side, the agreement was signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Dabski, and on the Ukrainian side by the head of the Foreign Ministry, head of the URL delegation to the talks with Poland held since the fall of 1919, Andriy Livytskyi.

A component of the agreement was a military convention of April 24, 1920, signed by Ukrainian General Volodymyr Sinkler and Jozef Pilsudski’s closest associate, Walery Slawek, and Waclaw Jędrzejewicz (acting as plenipotentiaries of the Commander-in-Chief), which began military cooperation between the two countries against Bolshevik troops on Ukrainian territory. The April 21 agreement was effective from the moment it was signed (Article 9), while the April 24 agreement took effect simultaneously with the first (Article 1). Both agreements were secret,[2] except for the act of state recognition of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and Symon Petlura’s Directory as the government of Ukraine, which was published in the Monitor Polski[3].

Both were drawn up in Polish and Ukrainian with the stipulation that in case of doubt the Polish text would be considered authentic. As a direct result of the signing of the agreement, the Kiev expedition began four days later.

On October 12, 1920, in Riga, the Polish delegation signed an armistice in the Polish-Bolshevik war, recognizing not only the RFSR but also the USSR as a party, which meant withdrawing diplomatic recognition of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. The Treaty of Riga, finally concluded on March 18, 1921, confirmed the recognition of the USSR as a “Ukrainian state,” thus tacitly canceling the provisions of the Warsaw Agreement[4].

See in Wikiresources the text of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 21.04.1920

See in Wikiresources the text of the Military Convention between the Republic of Poland and the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 24.04.1920

See in Wikiresources the text of the Proclamation of Commander-in-Chief Jozef Pilsudski to the people of Ukraine 26.04.1920

See in Wikiresources the text of the Proclamation of Symon Petlura to the people of Ukraine 26.04.1920

Commemoration[edit | edit code].

The participation of Ukrainian soldiers in the Polish-Bolshevik war is commemorated, among other things, during the scouting action Flame of Brotherhood at the graves of URL troops located on the territory of modern Poland[5].

In 2022, on the eve of Polish Army Day, tribute was paid to Ukrainian soldiers resting in an Orthodox cemetery in Warsaw’s Wola by President Andrzej Duda in the presence of Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Zwarych and Orthodox Military Ordinary Archbishop George[6].

The Polish-Ukrainian alliance was dedicated to the documentary film Difficult Brotherhood (1998)[7]. The film Secret Operation (directed by Valery Shalyga), which was made in 2019, also addresses this issue[8].

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