13:15 GMT +316 July 2019
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    Monument in commemoration of Soviet prisoners of war in Zamosc, Poland

    Polish City Council Votes Against Removal of Monument to WWII Soviet Prisoners

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    The Council of the Polish city of Zamosc has opposed the destruction of the monument erected in commemoration of Soviet prisoners of war who died in the local Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — In November 1941, around 20,000 of Soviet prisoners of war died in the Karolowka concentration camp within the city of Zamosc. In 1969, a monument with the hammer and sickle, the Communist symbol, was built there in memory of the deceased war prisoners.

    "The council of the city of Zamosc is against the demolition of the monument which in the first place commemorates the brutal treatment and extermination of the prisoners of war by German Wehrmacht," the explanatory note of the city council reads, adding that the history should not be forgotten.

    The paper also highlights that local people trying to help prisoners were also killed by the Nazis, and the nationality of the dead prisoners is now difficult to discover.

    The issue of destroying the monument has been widely debated in the city and its council lately due to difficulties in Polish-Soviet relations. At the end of January, the city Council voted against demolishing the monument.

    Russia has many times expressed its discontent with the removal of Soviet monuments in Poland. In April 2016, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Poland had become the European leader in terms of the desecration of Soviet monuments. In October, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia was outraged by Poland's campaign of the demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers.

    According to the 1992 Russian-Polish Agreement on Friendly and Neighborly Cooperation, Warsaw must protect and preserve Soviet and Russian cemeteries, graves, monuments and other memorial sites located in the country.

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    WWII, Maria Zakharova, Sergei Lavrov, Zamosc, Poland, Russia
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