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Russia protests the demolition of Soviet war memorials in Poland; different views on WWII

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MOSCOW — Russia has protested plans to demolish a Soviet war memorial in Poland and accused the Warsaw government of escalating its "war on monuments."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said at least 10 war memorials have been desecrated or demolished in Poland during the past year.

Friday's protest concerns a memorial in the town of Pieniezno dedicated to Soviet Gen. Ivan Chernyakhovsky, who was fatally wounded at the site in February 1945.

Soviet war memorials have fallen into disrepair and been regularly vandalized in Poland, where the Soviet role in World War II is viewed with ambiguity or outright hostility. In Russia, the official narrative is that the Red Army liberated Poland from Nazi occupation.

Russia says the demolition of war monuments in Poland violates a 1994 agreement between the two countries.

The Polish Foreign Ministry said under treaty terms, war cemeteries and burial grounds are under the care of the state but control of monuments lies with local authorities.

"It's up to local authorities to decide what monuments they want," the ministry said.

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