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No place for monuments glorifying Red Army, says presidential aide

Marcin Przydacz, the head of the Polish president’s International Policy Bureau said there is no place for monuments glorifying the actions of the Red Army. He was commenting on public radio on Friday on the demolition of a monument to Soviet forces in the Opole region in south-western Poland.

He said opinions on the matter were unequivocal.

“Anyone who has even a little knowledge of history, of what happened during World War II, cannot advocate for monuments glorifying the Red Army, because the Red Army was followed by the NKVD (the interior ministry of the Soviet Union), by (counter-intelligence organization) SMERSH, it murdered Polish patriots, established the system of communist enslavement,”Przydacz said.

“There is no place today for any monument glorifying it,” he continued, adding that cemeteries of fallen soldiers were a different matter as they were not only Russians but also Ukrainians, Uzbeks and Kazakhs. But there can be no talk of monuments glorifying the deeds of the Red Army,” he reiterated.

The dismantlement of the monument in Głubczyce near Opole is being conducted under a 2016 law banning the promotion of communism or other totalitarian systems. It was erected in 1945 and commemorates 676 Red Army and 1st Ukrainian Front soldiers who fell in a battle for the town in that year.

In the past Russia has expressed its bitter opposition to the dismantlement or removal of Soviet-era war memorials.

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