East knot. Negotiations with the Soviets
While Paderewski agreed to the federation formula, but he was very concerned with his Western friends, so much after his departure, Piłsudski and Wasilewski regained a free hand and could experiment in their own way. The head of government was Leopold Skulski, cyclical politician, who made a "centrist majority from the Union to the People's Party", and appointed Stanisław Patek as the minister of foreign affairs, an eloquent criminal defense attorney with liberal and cultural tastes, but no experience and no program. Polish troops occupied Bobruisk from autumn (28 VIII), Borisov (11 IX) and the Lunieniec-Horyń line. The Republic of Soviets was still struggling to exist: after Kolchak and Yudenich, General Denikin tried to rebuild tsarism, recognized and supported by the Entente.
The moment seemed to be an opportunity for a historic impact on the Ukrainian knot. The Halych Ruthenia was highly crystallized thanks to Austria, but against Poland; Volhynia is poorly connected with the state; Kiev region after the coups 1917-1918 r. showed emancipatory tendencies, and the great left-bank Ukraine was a mystery. The dictator Petrushevich came out as the leaders of the people – enemy of Poland, Rakowskij from the east introduced communism wherever he could; ataman Semen Petlura z Pawlenką i in. they sympathized with Warsaw and found a supporter in Piłsudski, because both him and Rakowski were strongly threatened by Denikin. Day 21 April 1920 r. concluded Belweder with Petliura a league, the power of which the Ukrainians, in exchange for help against the Bolsheviks, gave up Galicia. At the same time, Piłsudski got along with Denikin to investigate his intentions and to frighten the Soviets, and through Captain Boerner he negotiated with the head of the Bolshevik mission of the Red Cross, Julian Marchlewski, whom he calmed down, that Poland does not want to be a coalition gendarme. When Lenin did not accept the terms (Petliura intolerance, Granting the Latvians of Daugavpils, abandoning communist agitation in Poland), Piłsudski interrupted these secret talks. It looked like this in public, as if the parties could not agree on the place of the negotiations. The Soviets (Chicherin) offered a room, and on strangely favorable conditions: were to recognize the independence of the Republic, not to cross the front lines of that time in Belarus and Ukraine, not to conclude treaties with Germany or anyone against Poland. In February, the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets approved this proposal. The head of state saw in these words only a tricky attempt to wait out the embarrassing situation and during the winter he armed against the Soviets, in addition to the Polish army, also the Ukrainian Petliura formations and the Belarusian General. Bułhak-Bałachowicz, meanwhile he was delaying his reply. He spoke, that "he will beat the Bolsheviks wherever he likes and he does not need to deal with them".