Vandalism in Poland: Putin's proxies crush 14 Ukrainian memorials in Poland, Warsaw silent – UINM

13:26 Oct. 11, 2016

Putin's proxies crush 14 Ukrainian memorials in Poland, Warsaw silent – UINM

Destroyed monument commemorating murdered Ukrainian civilians and UPA soldiers in the village cemetery of Werchrata (by Piotr Tyma / Facebook)

Video of the last vandalism act was published by Polish editor of Russian propagandist site

Since the beginning of Russian invasion to Ukraine Poland seen the massive campaign of destroying Ukrainian monuments and tombs, Ukrainian National Memory Institute states.

"First, we observed some acts of vandalism, causing xenophobic inscriptions, pouring paint on monuments etc. Usually such actions were made anonymously at night and no further investigated by Polish law enforcement agencies followed. Subsequently, however, this kind of action gained mass and daring character. Only in the period 2014 to 2016 at least 14 acts of vandalism against Ukrainian monuments and burial places of were committed in Poland," Institute statement reads.

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Desecrated memorial of Ukrainian fighters, killed by NKVD in Poland (by Mariusz Sawa / Facebook)

Among the desecrated places – memorials and burial places of Ukrainian Insurgent Army fighters, murdered civilians, deported communities and even victims of Soviet NKVD. However, the last hatred act on Ukrainian memory site become out of the line even in such situation, scientists say.

On October 9, 2016, Piotr Tyma, President of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland have announced of complete destruction of the monument commemorating murdered Ukrainian civilians and UPA soldiers in the village cemetery of Werchrata, Lubaczów district of Subcarpathian region (Poland).

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Destroyed monument commemorating murdered Ukrainian civilians and UPA soldiers in the village cemetery of Werchrata (by Piotr Tyma / Facebook)

"I'm sorry to say that Ukrainian memorials in Poland are being more frequently targeted and destroyed. In fact, we are witnessing a gradual elimination of Ukrainian culture and history, as well as any traces of Ukrainian people on their historic ethnographic lands. This is done in a barbaric way, which seems very convenient for the Polish authorities as these sanctuaries and memorial sites are vandalized by "unknown persons" that seem to disappear into thin air. We appeal to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to adopt a strong position and ask the Polish government to punish the perpetrators and restore the desecrated sites," Tyma said.

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Destroyed monument commemorating murdered Ukrainian civilians and UPA soldiers in the village cemetery of Werchrata (by Piotr Tyma / Facebook)

On the same day Polish far-right organization Oboz Wielkiej Polski (OWS), known for its cooperation with Russian proxies in Donbas, claimed responsibility for the act. One of the leaders of OWS Dawid Hudziec even posted the video on YouTube showing the process of vandalism and with a xenophobic song on the background.

His personal YouTube channel is full of videos praising Russian mercenaries, fighting against Ukraine in Donbas, and Putin's far-right organizations like NOD (Narodno-Osvoboditelnoye Dvizhenie), responsible for numerous attacks on Russian dissidents and opposition. What's more, OWS claims to have its representatives in the ranks of militant forces, and Polish Radio claims Hudziec is moderating Polish-language page of Russian propagandist web site novorossia.today.

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OWP member in the ranks of militant unit 'Rusich', composed of Russian neo-nazis, Donbas, 2015 (by OWP / Facebook)

"The emergence of the video, as well as the fact that the attackers did not hide, and openly committed their actions caused a wide public indignation in Ukraine. We must admit that actions against the Ukrainian memorial places in Poland acquired the character of a planned liquidation of Ukrainian historical and cultural heritage. There is a deliberate wiping of the traces of Ukrainian people on the Ukrainian-Polish border. So far, none of these crimes have not been investigated. Impunity encourages criminals to new, more daring manifestations of Ukrainophobia," Memory Institute concluded.

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Destroyed monument commemorating murdered Ukrainian civilians and UPA soldiers in the village cemetery of Werchrata (by Piotr Tyma / Facebook)

Having this the intuition voiced an appeal to the state authorities of the Republic of Poland. It demands:

1. ensuring the transparent investigation of all the facts of abuse and destruction of Ukrainian memorial places, monuments and graves.

2. In accordance with Art. 3 and 4 of the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Poland on the conservation and burial places of memory of victims of war and political repression immediately restore destroyed Ukrainian monuments and memorials at the expense of the Polish side.

Read also Drone over Polish government building: a Russian citizen detained

"We believe that finding and punishing the perpetrators, as well as restoration of destroyed Ukrainian monuments is not just a matter of adjusting Ukrainian-Polish dialogue about the tragic pages 1of the past, but also to preserve good neighborly relations between Poland and Ukraine," Institute stressed.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland Andriy Deshchytsia assured RFE/RL, that Ukrainian Embassy in Warsaw on October 10 sent a note to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs by desecration of the Ukrainian monument. But the contents of the note currently unknown and is absent on the Embassies page.

Read also ‘Putin effect': Eastern Europe reaches for arms

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