Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman has compared Poland’s destruction of Soviet war memorials in the country to the ISIS destruction of the architecture and art of the ancient Hellenic city of Palmyra in Syria.
Days ago, Poland ordered the destruction of Soviet war memorials to commence after legislation approving the destruction easy sailed through the Polish legislature.
While Poland refused to consult with the Russian government or the families of the Soviet liberators, in a move which throws Poland’s geo-political priorities into the limelight, Poland did make a concession to Ukraine and Lithuania over controversial passport photos.
New Polish passports were to carry representations of historic Polish monuments as is increasingly customary in modern passports.
Among the images that raised eyebrows were those of the historic polish military cemetery in Lviv (present day Ukraine) and the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius (present day Lithuania). Ironically, the fact that neither city is in Poland is owed to the fact that after the Great Patriotic War, both formerly Polish cities were transferred to the Soviet Union. After 1991, the cities are now in the borders of post-Soviet Ukraine and post-Soviet Lithuania, whose modern borders both correspond to the internal map of Soviet republics.
It seems that Poland, along with modern Ukraine and Lithuania are happy to accept the legacy of the Soviet Union when it suits a specific agenda, but not when it involves paying tribute to the eternal memory of the Soviet soldiers who liberated Europe from fascism.
The fact that Poland both consulted and accepted proposals from Kiev and Vilnius over rather small matters, but refused to consult Moscow over a far more profound and insulting issues, is demonstrative of the fact the the destruction of Soviet memorials in Poland is a politically motivated act which Russia has called “barbaric”.
The destruction of Soviet war memorials continues throughout Poland.