Polish deputy foreign minister says attempts to remove Polish flag from Katyn memorial site show how far far away Russia is

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Polish deputy foreign minister says attempts to remove Polish flag from Katyn memorial site show how far far away Russia is

A Polish deputy foreign minister said that attempts to remove a Polish flag from the Katyn Massacre memorial site in Russia were absolutely unacceptable and show how far away Russia is from civilisational standards.

Marcin Przydacz, who spoke on Sunday on the TVP Info, said Russian authorities had removed Polish flags from the Katyn military cemetery.

The memorial site and monument commemorating the Katyn Forest Massacre in western Russia, a series of mass executions of close to 22,000 Polish POWs, mostly military officers and policemen, was carried out by the Soviet NKVD security agency in April and May 1940. The massacre took place at several locations, but it was named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves of the victims were first discovered.

The removal of Polish flags from the Katyn memorial site was reported by independent Russian news website Meduza, quoting Smolensk Mayor Andrey Borisov.

There can be no flags of Poland at Russian memorials. Borisov said that the Polish politicians have openly anti-Russian statements.

The Polish consul has immediately intervened within Russian government structures at the site, Przydacz told TVP Info. There were very unpleasant scenes as the Polish consul naturally referred to previous arrangements but also to civilisational standards.

After all, no one of sound mind would deny that Polish officers had been killed there and that the Polish flag should fly. He continued, in the spirit of an emotional attempt at revenge, that flag was removed in order to cause anxiety.

Przydacz went on to say that the Foreign Ministry would intervene, even though it did not expect a spectacular policy change. Russia is pursuing an aggressive policy, he said. It sees our firm position. Where it can't accost us in any other way, it will try to cause such minor crises.

The attempt to remove flags from a Polish cemetery is absolutely unacceptable, but shows how far from the civilisational standards Russia has come today, Przydacz said.

The ministry would send a diplomatic note to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over the matter, according to Przydacz.

Przydacz told public radio that he did not want to reveal the contents until it had been accepted by Moscow, because a note will be written at the moment when it will be submitted to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.