Monday, February 27, 2017
   
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Poland and Russia

Polish-Russian Relations after Smolensk Tragedy

The death of the Polish president and other government officials may help heal old wounds between Poland and Russia

I was shocked by the news of the tragic airplane accident that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many important people in Polish political life. Read more about the tragedy in the article: Polish President Dies in a Terrible Tragedy - is this a Curse of Katyn?

The accident happened near Smolensk airport, in western Russia, on April 10. Poles could not believe the news they heard. They spontaneously gathered in the centers of towns to comfort each other. How could a tragedy of this proportion happen? Why were so many important people flying together in one plane?

Read more: Polish-Russian Relations after Smolensk Tragedy

 

Poles and Russians: how similar and different are we?

I just finished reading the book entitled The Xenophobe's Guide to the Russians, by Vladimir Zhelvis. This book is really exciting, funny but informative and inspires the reflection.

As a matter of fact Poles and Russians like each other as people more than their political history would suggest. Poles and Russians share common traditions and a similar fate especially for the last forty years after World War II since they were living under the same communistic Soviet system. Of course, Poles would blame always Russians for imposing the totalitarian system.

Read more: Poles and Russians: how similar and different are we?

   

Why uneasy relations exist between Poles and Russians

European neighbors Poland and Russia have both a shared, and a strained, history together. Both nations are Slavic, they speak similar languages, and have lived in relatively the same way throughout history. Over various periods of history, both Poland and Russia have conquered each other's territory. Despite all the similarities, however, there are sharp contrasts. Poles are Roman Catholics, and therefore use the Latin alphabet in their script, as well as being a very Western-oriented country; Russians are of the Orthodox religion, which has a centuries-long hatred of Roman Catholicism, and therefore write using the Cyrillic alphabet. In addition, Russia is oriented towards the East, towards Byzantine for its religious history, and the hordes of Mongolia for its political history. The centuries of conquering each other, as well as totally oppsite ways of thinking, have left a long mark of distrust between the peoples of these two countries.

Read more: Why uneasy relations exist between Poles and Russians

   
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