Tag Archives: Ukraine

Dr. Chodakiewicz delivers Intermarium Lecture on Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary

On Tuesday, December 2, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz — Professor of History at IWP and the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies — delivered a lecture on the “Intermarium in song, thought, and action: Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary.”

The event was part of the Kościuszko Chair’s ongoing Intermarium Lecture Series, which commenced in 2011. During the presentation, Dr. Chodakiewicz addressed the accusations that are often levied against the government of Viktor Orban in Hungary. He also spoke about the nostalgia for the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth and support for greater cooperation among the nations of the Intermarium in Belarus and Ukraine.

A video of his remarks can be found below.

Russian news agency mischaracterizes IWP professor’s lecture

The news agency, RIA Novosti, one of the largest in post-Soviet Russia, has quoted extensively Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz’s September 10 Intermarium Series lecture on Ukraine.

Although the Kościuszko Chair is generally always happy to see its lectures quoted in the media, it must be pointed out that the RIA Novosti piece was Muscovite disinformation. The lecture was open to all, but a RIA Novosti correspondent never identified himself/herself, nor did one interview Dr. Chodakiewicz.

Even more characteristically, RIA Novosti only mentioned selected, cut-and-pasted quotes taken out of context, thereby distorting Dr. Chodakiewicz’s arguments. The Russian correspondent intentionally picked out snippets to portray the Ukrainians as incompetent and the U.S. and its NATO allies as weak, indecisive, and, in general, not serious about defending Ukraine. In reality, Dr. Chodakiewicz’s criticism focused on the ineptness of Ukraine’s top-heavy post-Soviet military brass, not the rank and file troops.

To counter the post-Soviet disinformation, we are reposting Dr. Chodakiewicz’s advice, which we encourage RIA Novosti to quote in full:

What to do?

a)   Ukraine:

  • Secure and seal the border with Russia.
  • Seek provisional dual power in the Donbas (as opposed to evacuation or invasion).
  • Invite Western monitors, civilian and military (but not peacekeepers).
  • Purge the armed forces and security of the post-Soviets.
  • Hold no elections before asserting control over the entire country.

b)  The West:

  • Establish bases in the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.
  • Arm Ukraine with conventional weapons.
  • Establish and boost satellite TV programs to beam the Western message into the post- Soviet zone, in particular in Russian.
  • Counter the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign in the West.
  • Freeze (gradually and selectively) all private and public assets of Russian origin in Western banks and financial institutions.
  • Supply Poland with enriched uranium for a nuclear device (like we did for Japan in the 1960s when China was at its most belligerent).
  • Supply Europe with gas and oil from the U.S.

The full lecture can be found below.

Ukraine: Summer’s Over

You are cordially invited to a lecture on the topic of

Ukraine: Summer’s Over

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz 
Professor of History, The Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies

Wednesday, September 10
2:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Parking Map


Please contact sdwyer@iwp.edu with any questions.

Kosciuszko Chair Logo

As the fall semester begins at IWP, the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies will resume its Intermarium Lecture Series with Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s presentation on Ukraine. Having explored the crisis-riven Central and Eastern European country in July, Dr. Chodakiewicz will share his observations on the situation in post-Maidan Ukraine, including the eastern Donetsk region plagued by a Russian-supported irredentist insurgency and the area of the MH17 crash site.

Strategic Value of Poland and the Intermarium

The following article by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz was published by the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research. The whole article can be found here.

The White House’s erratic, confused, and rudderless foreign policy endangers America’s Polish friend, and, indeed, other NATO members, putting Warsaw and the rest, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, also known as the Intermarium, lands between the Black and Baltic seas, on a collision course vis-à-vis Berlin and Moscow. This is plainly obvious in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.

Gdańsk – Poland’s foreign minister Radek Sikorski is the latest foreign leader to pass a vote of no confidence on President Barack Obama’s conduct of international policy. Media reports almost completely missed this salient point focusing, instead, on the Polish official’s Hollywood-style profanity, which had been secretly recorded and leaked to the press. Under the current administration, the alliance with America “is worthless,” according to the Pole.

Sikorski, a staunch Transatlanticist, a reliable friend of America, former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and sometime roving correspondent for National Review, laments that, despite his nation’s bending over backwards, Washington has been an unreliable ally lately. The White House’s erratic, confused, and rudderless foreign policy endangers America’s Polish friend, and, indeed, other NATO members, putting Warsaw and the rest, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, also known as the Intermarium, lands between the Black and Baltic seas, on a collision course vis-à-vis Berlin and Moscow. This is plainly obvious in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.

Sikorski’s cri de coeur has triggered some angry huffing and puffing among the globalized punditry. Aside from the usual “hate the U.S.” circles, in the European Union in particular, and the “I told you so” gleeful trolls of the Kremlin, America’s neo-isolationists and anarcho-capitalists have chimed in to skewer Poland’s foreign minister. Is America’s alliance worthless for Poland? Perhaps it is Poland that is worthless for the U.S., they charge. Their arguments boil down to this: What does Poland bring to the table? Nothing but trouble. It is a beneficiary of the thoughtless expansion of NATO with its Article 5 which obligates the U.S. to render Warsaw military assistance in case of an attack by an outside force. Admitting Poland and other post-Soviet countries to the alliance needlessly provoked Russia and exacerbated tensions between Moscow and Washington. America has really no national interest meddling in the post-Soviet zone. Too bad about poor Poland’s geopolitical location but that is really none of America’s business.

Read more

Paweł Styrna on Polish-Ukrainian anti-Soviet cooperation in The Polish Review

Kościuszko Chair researcher and student, Paweł Styrna, has just published an article in the scholarly quarterly of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA), The Polish Review (2013, Vol. 58, No. 4: pp. 3-27).

The article is entitled: “Defense of Western Civilization or “Polish Imperialism”? Opinions on the Kiev Expedition in the American, British, Belgian, Polish, and Soviet Press: A Sample from April-May 1920.”

Mr. Styrna — a historian of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as of Russia/the former Soviet Union, by training — studied the press coverage in the US, Britain, Belgium, Poland, and Soviet Russia of the Kiev Offensive/Expedition during the spring of 1920. The counter-offensive, which commenced on 25 April and culminated in the liberation of the Bolshevik-occupied Ukrainian capital of Kyiv (Polish: Kijów; Russian: Kiev) on 7 May 1920, was the fruit of a Polish-Ukrainian alliance formed shortly before the attack. The two nations — in spite of previous tensions and fighting between them — joined forces against what they recognized as a grave common threat: the Moscow Bolsheviks.

Dr. Chodakiewicz participates in Army War College War Games on Ukraine; Dr. Mastrapa attends as observer

photoFrom April 27-29, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, professor of history and current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, participated in the US Army War College War Games on Ukraine. The exercise took place at the College’s Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Chodakiewicz employed his historical expertise on Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet zone, contributing many insights. Dr. Tania Mastrapa, the director of IWP’s Office of Professional Affiliations, attended the war games as an observer.

“Minority rights” and post-Soviet imperialism

Following Russia’s invasion of the nation of Georgia in August 2008, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz pointed out that Moscow will increasingly utilize the rhetoric of “minority rights” in its strategy of rebuilding its empire.

After all, Russia de facto annexed two Georgian provinces–Abkhazia and South Ossetia–under the pretext of defending the two ethnicities’ right to “self-determination” (i.e. secession). This amounted to their incorporation into the Russian Federation, the main successor state of the Soviet Union.

In 2014, the Kremlin is invoking its alleged right, and even duty, to protect ethnic Russians living in Ukraine from alleged Maidan “fascists.” So far, Vladimir Putin’s regime seized Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, but what will Moscow do next?

There are ethnic Russians residing throughout the former Bolshevik empire, including in the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine and in the Baltic States. There are also disgruntled minorities in many other former Soviet republics, which means that the scenario may well again repeat itself. In its ideological warfare, the Kremlin hopes to exploit all the positive connotations that Western liberal elites associate with pro-“minority rights” phraseology.

Dr. Chodakiewicz’s article from August 29, 2008, “Minority rights and imperial reintegration,” is thus as relevant now as it was back then. His analysis is available here.