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Russian diplomat urges Poland to stop demolishing Soviet monuments

April 13, 8:53 UTC+3 VIENNA

Moscow also expects Warsaw to take efficient measures to stop desecration of military cemeteries

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VIENNA, April 13. /TASS/. Russia once again calls on the Polish authorities to stop demolishing monuments to Soviet soldiers and put an end to vandalism on military cemeteries, Russia’s permanent envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has said.

"Once again we repeat our call to the Polish authorities to stop demolishing memorials to those who sacrificed their lives for the people of Poland and brought freedom to prisoners of Nazi death camts," Alexander Lukashevich told a session of the OSCE Permanent Council. "We also expect Warsaw to take efficient measures to stop desecration of military cemeteries."

According to the envoy, Poland accounted for 53 out of 79 cases of vandalism against Soviet memorials outside Russia in 2015-2016. The bulk of those incidents took place at military cemeteries.

"The examples show that the campaign against common military and historical heritage in Poland is gaining momentum. We are convinced that such instances of vandalism have similar nature with neo-Nazism. Regretfully, this happens with a de-facto approval or with total inaction by the Polish government," Lukashevich said.

On October 21, 2017, an updated law on decommunization stipulating the removal of monuments and memorials that pay "a tribute to the memory of people, organizations, events and dates that symbolize Communism or other totalitarian regime" entered into force in Poland. The Institute of National Remembrance was chosen as the main consulting body that local authorities may be guided by. Its experts recognize about 230 World War II monuments to the Red Army in Poland as propagating Communism.

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