Józef Piłsudski – “There can be no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine”

In the wake of the Russian westward offensive of 1918–1919 and of a series of escalating battles which resulted in the Poles advancing eastward, on 21 April 1920, Marshal Piłsudski (as his rank had been since March 1920) signed a military alliance (the Treaty of Warsaw) with Ukrainian leader Symon Petliura to conduct joint operations against Soviet Russia. The goal of the Polish-Ukrainian treaty was to establish an independent Ukraine and independent Poland in alliance, resembling that once existing within Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth[84] In return, Petliura gave up Ukrainian claims to western lands of Galicia being a historical part of the Crown of Poland, for which he was denounced by Ukrainian nationalist leaders.[55]

The Polish and Ukrainian armies, under Piłsudski’s command, launched a successful offensive against the Russian forces in Ukraine. On 7 May 1920, with remarkably little fighting, they captured Kiev.[85]
Piłsudski (left) and Edward Rydz-Śmigły (right), 1920, during Polish-Soviet War

The Bolshevik leadership framed the Polish actions as an invasion; in response, thousands of officers and deserters joined the Red Army, and thousands of civilians volunteered for war work.[86] The Soviets launched a counter-offensive from Belarus and counter-attacked in Ukraine, advancing into Poland[85] in a drive toward Germany to encourage the German Communist Party in its struggle to take power. . . . Yet over the next few weeks, Poland’s risky, unconventional strategy at the August 1920 Battle of Warsaw halted the Soviet advance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef_Pi%C5%82sudski

Treaty of Warsaw (1920)

Piłsudski was looking for allies against the Bolsheviks and hoped to create a Międzymorze alliance; Petliura saw the alliance as the last chance to create an independent Ukraine.

Piłsudski also wanted an independent Ukraine to be a buffer between Poland and Russia rather than seeing Ukraine again dominated by Russia right at the Polish border.[5] Piłsudski, who argued that “There can be no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Warsaw_(1920)

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