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Warsaw police hunting vandals who desecrated Soviet military cemetery

September 19, 16:39 UTC+3 WARSAW

Unknown vandals have desecrated the Soviet Military Cemetery in the Polish capital on September 18

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© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

WARSAW, September 19. /TASS/. Unknown vandals have desecrated a Soviet Military Cemetery in the Polish capital. The incident is being investigated, Press Secretary of Warsaw’s Mokotow District Robert Szumiata told a TASS reporter on Tuesday.

According to the information available, "Death to enemies of the people," "Traitors," "Get out of our country" and other insulting remarks were scrawled with red and gold paint on various parts of the memorial complex.

The incident occurred in the small hours of Monday, the police official said. "An unidentified person or persons vandalized the monuments with red paint. Police officers examined the desecrated memorials and tombstones on the scene and are now looking for those who did it," Szumiata noted. "We will use security footage, if there are any, that cover the cemetery’s grounds and the approach routes to this complex," he added.

He also noted that "the inscriptions must have been removed already or are being removed." "We have received information that the city had hired a firm for this effort," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, according to Head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Mission for Organization and Execution of War Memorial Work in Poland Alexey Fomichev, who examined the cemetery on Tuesday morning, no work to clear the cemetery has been done yet. "A letter has been written to Poland’s Ministry of Culture, protesting the inadmissibility of such cases and a request for immediate repair of the damage. We hope it will soon be eliminated," he said.

The Russian Embassy in Poland has demanded local authorities urgently clean up the Soviet Military Cemetery desecrated by vandals, the diplomatic mission said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The mausoleum cemetery for the Soviet soldiers on Zwirki i Wigury Street, Warsaw, has again been desecrated by unidentified vandals. In light of this, the Russian Embassy in Poland has remonstrated with the Polish authorities and called on them to restore the memorial to proper condition as soon as possible, as well as identify and punish those responsible," the statement says.

Press Secretary for the head of the Mazovia Province, Ewa Filipovic, told a TASS reporter on Tuesday that the regional authorities had already ordered a clean-up of the memorial complex. "Work is due to begin on Wednesday," she said.

The Soviet Military Cemetery was founded in 1950 on Zwirki i Wigury St, in Warsaw. The 22,000 Soviet soldiers killed during Poland’s liberation from the Nazi invaders are buried here. The main walkway leads to a 15-meter granite obelisk where guests from various countries and locals bring flowers and light candles on state and religious holidays (both Polish and Russian). The memorial plaque is written in both Russian and Polish: "To the memory of the Soviet Army soldiers who fell while liberating Poland from German occupation in the years 1944-1945."

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