Ukrainian Minority in Poland
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Ukrainian Minority in Poland
Ukrainian minority in Poland
Kyivan Rus Foundation of St. Volodymyr in Kraków with courtyard patio of a fine dining restaurant
Total population
2,000,000 (Estimate 2019)[]
Regions with significant populations
Central: Warsaw; north east: Olsztyn, Elbl?g; north west: S?upsk, Koszalin; south west: Legnica and Wroc?aw; south east: Lublin and Rzeszow
Ukrainian, Polish
Orthodox Christianity, Greek Catholicism

The Ukrainian minority in Poland (Ukrainian: , Ukrayintsi, Polish: Ukrai?cy) was composed of approximately 51,000 people (including 11,451 without Polish citizenship[1]), according to the Polish census of 2011. Some 38,000 respondents named Ukrainian as their first identity (28,000 as their sole identity), 13,000 as their second identity, and 21,000 declared Ukrainian identity jointly with Polish nationality.[2]

On 14 September 2018, 33,624 Ukrainian citizens possessed a permanent residence permit, and 132,099 had a temporary residence permit.[3] About 1 to 2 million Ukrainian citizens are working in Poland.[4][5] There are also 40,000 Ukrainian students in Poland.[5]

In the years between 2005 and 2006 the Ukrainian language was taught at 162 schools attended by 2,740 Ukrainian students.[6]

Cultural life

Speakers of minority languages based on Polish census of 1931
Ukrainian and Ruthenian language in the Second Polish Republic

Main Ukrainian organizations in Poland include: Association of Ukrainians in Poland (Zwi?zek Ukrai?ców w Polsce), Association of Ukrainians of Podlasie (Zwi?zek Ukrai?ców Podlasia), Ukrainian Society of Lublin (Towarzystwo Ukrai?skie w Lublinie), Kyivan Rus Foundation of St. Volodymyt, pictured (Fundacja ?w. W?odzimierza Chrzciciela Rusi Kijowskiej), Association of Ukrainian Women (Zwi?zek Ukrainek), Ukrainian Educators' Society of Poland (Ukrai?skie Towarzystwo Nauczycielskie w Polsce), Ukrainian Medical Society (Ukrai?skie Towarzystwo Lekarskie), Ukrainian Club of Stalinist Political Prisoners (Stowarzyszenie Ukrai?ców - Winiów Politycznych Okresu Stalinowskiego), Ukrainian Youth Association "" (Organizacja M?odzie?y Ukrai?skiej "P?AST"), Ukrainian Historical Society (Ukrai?skie Towarzystwo Historyczne), and Association of Independent Ukrainian Youth (Zwi?zek Niezale?nej M?odzie?y Ukrai?skiej). The most important periodicals published in Ukrainian language include: Our Voice (Nasze S?owo) weekly, and ? (Nad Buhom i Narwoju) bimonthly.[6]

The most important Ukrainian festivals and popular cultural events include: Festival of Ukrainian Culture in Sopot ("Festiwal Kultury Ukrai?skiej" w Sopocie), Youth Market in Gda?sk ("M?odzie?owy Jarmark" w Gda?sku), Festival of Ukrainian Culture of Podlasie (Festiwal Kultury Ukrai?skiej na Podlasiu "Podlaska Jesie?"), "Bytowska Watra", "Spotkania Pogranicza" in Gbock,[7] Days of Ukrainian Culture in Szczecin and Gi?ycko ("Dni Kultury Ukrai?skiej"), Children Festival in Elbl?g (Dzieci?cy Festiwal Kultury w Elbl?gu), "Na Iwana, na Kupa?a" in Dubicze Cerkiewne, Festival of Ukrainian Children Groups in Koszalin (Festiwal Ukrai?skich Zespo?ów Dzieci?cych w Koszalinie), "Noc na Iwana Kupa?a" in Kruklanki, Ukrainian Folklor Market in K?trzyn (Jarmark Folklorystyczny "Z malowanej skrzyni"), Under the Common Skies in Olsztyn ("Pod wspólnym niebem"), and Days of Ukrainian Theatre (Dni teatru ukrai?skiego) also in Olsztyn.[6]

History, and trends

Since World War II

After the quashing of a Ukrainian insurrection at the end of World War II by the Soviet Union, about 140,000 Ukrainians residing within the new Polish borders were forcibly moved to northern and western Poland during Operation Vistula, settling the former Recovered Territories ceded to Poland at the Tehran Conference of 1943.

The total of 27,172 people declared Ukrainian nationality in the Polish census of 2002. Most of them lived in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (11,881), followed by West Pomeranian (3,703), Podkarpackie (2,984) and Pomeranian Voivodeship (2,831).[6] Some Lemkos (recognized in Poland as distinct ethnic group) regard themselves as members of the Ukrainian nation, while others distance themselves from Ukrainians.[6]

Economic migration

Ukrainian Settlement Permits and Temporary Residence Permits since Poland's EU accession [8]
Permits / Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Total
Permanent Settlement Permits 1,905 1,654 1,438 1,609 1,685 1,280 9,571
Temporary Residence Permits 8,518 8,304 7,733 7,381 8,307 8,489 48,736
Grand total 58,303
Source: EU Membership Highlights Poland's Migration Challenges, Warsaw

Since 1989, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a new wave of Ukrainian immigration, mostly of job seekers, tradesmen, and vendors, concentrated in larger cities with established market. After the Poland's 2004 accession to the European Union, in order to meet the requirements of the Schengen zone (an area of free movement within the EU), the government was forced to make immigration to Poland more difficult for the people from Belarus, Russia or Ukraine. Nevertheless, Ukrainians consistently receive the most settlement permits and the most temporary residence permits in Poland (see table).[8] As a result of the Eastern Partnership, Poland and Ukraine have reached a new agreement replacing visas with simplified permits for Ukrainians residing within 30 km of the border. Up to 1.5 million people would benefit from this agreement which took effect on July 1, 2009.[9] In 2017 the visa requirements were finally abolished for short stays of up to 90 days.[10]

After 2014, more Ukrainians from eastern Ukraine, more men, and more younger Ukrainians have been working in Poland.[11]

The overwhelming majority of applications for temporary residence are being accepted. Resulting from this, Ukrainians constituted 25% of the entire immigrant population of Poland in 2015.[12]

In January 2016 the Embassy of Ukraine in Warsaw informed that the number of Ukrainian residents in Poland was half a million, and probably around one million in total. Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland, Andrii Deshchytsia, noted that Ukrainian professionals enjoy good reputation in Poland and in spite of their growing numbers Polish-Ukrainian relations remain very good.[13]

According to the NBP, 1.2 million Ukrainian citizens worked legally in Poland in 2016.[14] 1.7 million short-term work registrations were issued to them in 2017 (an eightfold increase compared to 2013).[4] Ukrainian workers stay in Poland on average 3-4 months.[15]

The number of permanent residence permits increased from 5,375 in 2010 to 33,624 (14 September 2018), while the number of temporary residence permits increased from 7,415 to 132,099 over the same time period.[3]

About 102,000 Ukrainian citizens received Karta Polaka,[16] of whom some 15,500 obtained permanent residence permits in the period from 2014 to March 2018.[17]


Following the 2014-15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, including its illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea ("Helsinki Declaration"),[18] the situation changed dramatically. Poland began taking in large numbers of refugees from the Ukraine conflict as part of the EU's refugee programme.[19] The policy of strategic partnership between Kyiv and Warsaw was extended to military and technical cooperation,[20][21] but the more immediate task, informed Poland's State secretary Krzysztof Szczerski, was the Ukraine's constitutional reform leading to broad decentralization of power.[20] The number of applications for refugee status rose 50 times following the start of War in Donbass in Eastern Ukraine in 2014. However, most new applicants are not eligible to claim refugee protection in Poland, because Ukraine is a sovereign country with a democratic government fully accountable to its citizens. Resident visas in Poland are available in other immigration categories.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Ludno. Stan i struktura demograficzno-spo?eczna. Narodowy Spis Powszechny Ludno?ci i Mieszka? 2011" (PDF). Warsaw: GUS. 2013: 268. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Przynale?no narodowo-etniczna ludno?ci - wyniki spisu ludno?ci i mieszka? 2011. GUS. Materia? na konferencj? prasow? w dniu 29. 01. 2013. p. 3. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  3. ^ a b "Maps and statistics of migrants and Polish migration services". Urz?d do Spraw Cudzoziemców (The Office for Foreigners). Retrieved 2018. (daily updated)
  4. ^ a b Shotter, James; Huber, Evon (10 July 2018). "Polish companies target Ukrainian workers as consumers". FINANCIAL TIMES. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ a b "2 ? -- ". (in Ukrainian). 2 December 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e (in Polish) Mniejszo?ci narodowe i etniczne w Polsce on the pages of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. Retrieved
  7. ^ "Watra - spotkania pogranicza" (in Polish). Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ a b Krystyna Iglicka, Magdalena Ziolek-Skrzypczak, Ludwig Maximilian (University of Munich) (September 2010). "EU Membership Highlights Poland's Migration Challenges". Center for International Relations, Warsaw. Retrieved 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Sikorski: umowa o ma?ym ruchu granicznym od 1 lipca". Gazeta Wyborcza. 2009-06-17. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "European Commission - Statement".
  11. ^ "A new wave of Ukrainian migration to Poland | | Central European Financial Observer". Retrieved .
  12. ^ a b Katarzyna Kunicka (October 19, 2015). "Ukrai?ski ?wiat. W Polsce mieszka 400 tys. Ukrai?ców" [According to Ukrai?ski ?wiat (formed in Warsaw during Euromaidan), 400,000 Ukrainians live in Poland]. Greenpoint Media 2015. Archived from the original on October 21, 2015 – via Internet Archive, October 21, 2015. Ukrai?ski ?wiat jest ostatni? desk? ratunku dla uciekaj?cych przed przemoc? na Ukrainie do Polski, a tak?e dla tych, którzy po powrocie do domu nara?eni s? na problemy gospodarcze. Raport, opublikowany 21 lipca przez Urz?d do Spraw Cudzoziemców w Polsce pokazuje 50-krotny wzrost ukrai?skich wniosków o status uchod?cy. Od 2013 do 2014 roku wnioski o pobyt czasowy wzros?y dwukrotnie, z 13,000 do 29,000. Wska?nik ten ca?y czas ro?nie: w ci?gu pierwszych siedmiu miesi?cy 2015 roku wyniós? ponad 32,000.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. ^ PAP/Zespó? (21 January 2016). "Ambasador Ukrainy: Milion Ukrai?ców w Polsce to migranci ekonomiczni". Wschodnik : Portal Informacyjny Aktualno?ci z Ukrainy.
  14. ^ "Ukrai?cy na dobre rozgo?cili si? na polskim rynku pracy. Zarabiaj? tyle co Polacy, na Wschód wysy?aj? miliardy z?otych". (in Polish). 8 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Ukrai?cy sp?dzaj? w Polsce ?rednio 3-4 miesi?ce". (in Polish). 14 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Karta Polaka ma obj wszystkie osoby polskiego pochodzenia oraz wszystkie ?rodowiska polonijne". (in Polish). Rzeczpospolita. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Karta Polaka - ro?nie liczba zezwole? na pobyt sta?y". (in Polish). UDSC. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ Rasmussen, Pia. "2015 Annual Session Helsinki". Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved .
  19. ^ PAP (28 August 2015). ""We can build European security together"". Office of the President of Poland. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ a b Relacja Paw?a Buszko z Kijowa (IAR) (4 September 2015). "Prezydent Ukrainy dzi?kuje Polsce za solidarno i zaprasza Andrzeja Dud?". Polskie Radio. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Ukraine Today (25 July 2015). "Joint Military Brigade: Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania sign framework agreement". Retrieved 2015.

Further reading

  • Dyboski, Roman (September 1923). "Poland and the Problem of National Minorities". Journal of the British Institute of International Affairs. 2 (5): 179-200. doi:10.2307/3014543.
  • Mniejszo ukrai?ska i migranci z Ukrainy w Polsce, Zwi?zek Ukrai?ców w Polsce, 2019
  • Marcin Deutschmann, Rasizm w Polsce w kontekoecie problemów migracyjnych. Próba diagnozy. STUDIA KRYTYCZNE | NR 4/2017: 71-85 | ISSN 2450-9078
  • Roman Drozd: Droga na zachód. Osadnictwo ludno?ci ukrai?skiej na ziemiach zachodnich i pó?nocnych Polski w ramach akcji «Wis?a». Warszawa: 1997. OCLC 435926521
  • Roman Drozd, Igor Ha?agida: Ukrai?cy w Polsce 1944-1989. Walka o to?samo (Dokumenty i materia?y). Warszawa: 1999.
  • Roman Drozd, Roman Skeczkowski, Myko?a Zymomrya: Ukraina -- Polska. Kultura, warto?ci, zmagania duchowe. Koszalin: 1999.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukrai?cy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918-1989). T. I. S?upsk-Warszawa: 2000.
  • Roman Drozd: Polityka w?adz wobec ludno?ci ukrai?skiej w Polsce w latach 1944-1989. T. I. Warszawa: 2001.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukrai?cy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918-1989). T. II: "Akcja «Wis?a». Warszawa: 2005.
  • Roman Drozd: Ukrai?cy w najnowszych dziejach Polski (1918-1989). T. III: «Akcja ,,Wis?a". S?upsk: 2007.
  • Roman Drozd, Bohdan Halczak: Dzieje Ukrai?ców w Polsce w latach 1921-1989. Warszawa: 2010.
  • ?., ? ?. ? ? ? 1921-1989 / , ?, ; . ? . ?. . 3- ., ?., . -  : , 2013. - 272 ?.
  • Roman Drozd: Zwi?zek Ukrai?ców w Polsce w dokumentach z lat 1990-2005. Warszawa: 2010.
  • Halczak B. Publicystyka narodowo - demokratyczna wobec problemów narodowo?ciowych i etnicznych II Rzeczypospolitej / Bohdan Halczak. - Zielona Góra : Wydaw. WSP im. Tadeusza Kotarbi?skiego, 2000. - 222 s.
  • Halczak B. Problemy to?samo?ci narodowej ?emków / Bohdan Halczak // in: ?emkowie, Bojkowie, Rusini: historia, wspó?czesno, kultura materialna i duchowa / red. nauk. Stefan Dudra, Bohdan Halczak, Andrzej Ksenicz, Jerzy Starzy?ski . Legnica - Zielona Góra: ?emkowski Zespó? Pie?ni i Ta?ca "Kyczera", 2007 pp. 41-55 .
  • Halczak B. ?emkowskie miejsce we wszech?wiecie. Refleksje o po?o?eniu ?emków na prze?omie XX i XXI wieku / Bohdan Halczak // in: ?emkowie, Bojkowie, Rusini - historia, wspó?czesno, kultura materialna i duchowa / red. nauk. Stefan Dudra, Bohdan Halczak, Roman Drozd, Iryna Betko, Michal ?mige? . Tom IV, cz. 1 . - S?upsk - Zielona Góra : [b. w.], 2012 - s. 119-133 .

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