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World needs to rally in support of Ukraine

On BBC News regarding the Ukrainian crisis, British Foreign Secretary William Jefferson Hague said that the turmoil in Ukraine is the biggest crisis “Europe” has faced in the 21st century. The Oxford alumnus, having been born in 1961, was too young to have heard about an earlier crisis, the Polish Russian War of 1920. And why should “Europe” have had to face it?

The famed Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who had defeated the Russian White Army of Alexander Kolchak in Siberia and Gen. Anton Denikin in Crimea in 1920, was made commander of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920. The battle ingenuity of Joseph Pilsudski, with the initial assist of the Ukrainian leader Symon Petlura, brought victory to a country that had recently been partitioned and was vastly outnumbered in men and materiel. The whole country had prayed for a victory and when it came they called it “the miracle on the Vistula.”

“Europe” did not come to Poland’s (or Ukraine’s) defense, but the victory brought 24 years of freedom from communism to Poland and to “Europe.” Tukhachevsky said afterward that had his army been victorious, “the revolutionary fires would have reached the entire continent.”

Let us all stand on the side of our brothers, the Ukrainians. Ukraine is not yet lost!

Wanda Slawinska

Curator, Fronczak Collection

SUNY Buffalo State