BONUSIAK G., University of Rzeszyw, Rzeszyw, Poland
West-oriented choice of Ukraine one year after the Orange Revolution from the Polish perspective
Стаття розкриває особливості Помаранчевої революції в Україні та її зв 'язок з подіями в Польщі. Подаються припущення подальшого розвитку цього процесу.
The article opens the peculiarities of Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its connection with events in Poland. The suppositions of the next development of this process are also shown.
The end of 2004 brought in great emotions in Ukraine and Poland. With our breaths taken away we were observing the great history happening on Majdan Niezalezhnosti. Dozens and hundreds of people, including both these on the front pages of newspapers and the ones unknown, rushed in crowds to support the Ukrainians gathered in Kiev, in an important historic moment. In any case, on Majdan the were representatives of numerous countries and nations. We are proud of the fact that the Poles were present there, but we cannot disregard the Georgians, Belorussians, Russians and many, many others. I remember a deep conviction of mine and many other Poles that Ukraine was given a second chance and that time it would not waste it. This conviction arouse even more in the Poles, strengthened by TV transmissions from Kiev and voices of acquaintances on the other side of the border, showing their enthusiasm and excitement. I also remember a lot of young people mainly who left their families in Poland during Christmas- the most important Polish holiday- and got on buses to work as observers during the repeated third round of the presidential elections. Our hearts were orange then and we were convinced that hearts and minds of the majority of Ukrainians were this colour, as well. We thought the colour was a symbolic appeal to hope, to an injection of new, fresh blood, to arousal of new amount of social and political activity of the residents of this large country. We were also convinced that this activity could mean only one thing - close relations not only between the Poles and the Ukrainians, but also through us with the whole uniting Europe, both with its culture and its structures.
Today we must admit that our optimism was excessive and resulted probably from three reasons. Firstly, from enthusiastic comments which appeared in the Polish media, secondly from the lack of knowledge of realities of the Ukrainian domestic policy and from the lack of knowledge of the Ukrainian foreign policy and above all from so many times pointed out a problem of geographical location on the border of the two powers or the two cultures, as Samuel P. Huntington wrote in his "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" \ The illustration of this problem, unnoticed by the Poles at that time are the words written by Antin Borkowskyj: 'On the Majdan nobody asked if Juszczenko would manage to lead Ukraine to enter the European Union. The question was asked in a different way: "Will Ukraine return to Russia? Will it preserve sovereignty and independ- ence?". However we, Polish people did not notice it then. An additional cause we should also point to is our and probably the Ukrainians' excessive optimism as to the reaction of the European Union.
The first of the issues showed by me, namely the image of the events from Kiev in the Polish media must be considered further in future. The already proverbial strategic partnership and close acquaintance of the presidents Kwasniewski and Kuczma were a superb background of building the atmosphere of waiting and optimism as to the development of the situation in Ukraine. With quite a high frequency the Polish media informed about success of the next visits of the members of government, and above all about the meetings of both presidents. The complementation of these pieces of information in a media dimension was a common battalion or a common zone in Iraq. As a matter of fact the only negative information concerning bilateral relations which pushed into the Polish media was the issue of lengthening the pipe Odessa- Brody to Piock as well as continuous arguments about the Lvov Eaglets Cemetery. From time to time the media transmitted the information about the protests concerning functioning of border checkpoints, which however went to show that the mutual visits were more frequent or there were difficulties in a small-scale (tourist) trade (smuggling) rather than there were real arguments. So it was rather a structural issue, not psychological. Generally, we can say that although there were some cracks like the Gongadze's matter, yet the atmosphere for Ukraine was favourable.
In such situation the firs reports about arising Ukrainian revolution took root. The