19:55 May. 18, 2016
Opponents claim Russia should give its consent
A memorial of gratitude to the Red Army is to be removed from the centre of Szczecin in north-western Poland. A decision to this effect has been taken by the City Council, with 23 votes for and three against.
One of the opponents of the move, Dawid Krystek of the Democratic Left Alliance, has said those voted for the removal of the memorial represent far-right forces "have no respect for the thousands of Soviet and Polish soldiers who were killed along the combat route from Elblag to Szczecin."
According to Krystek, the decision of the City Council is not legally binding. He expressed confidence that "the Mayor of Szczecin will not remove the memorial without a consent by the Russian Federation".
Councillor Marek Duklanowski of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party stressed, however, that the decision of the City Council is in line with residents' expectations, adding that the Red Army did not liberate the town but enslaved its citizens.
The monument in tribute to the Red Army and its services in the capturing of the towns in Western Pomerania during World War II was unveiled on 23 April 1950, the fifth anniversary of the Red Army's entry into Szczecin.
In 1992 a five-pointed star made of concrete was removed from the monument.