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Poland should also remove Soviet monuments - Katyn Committee

21:35 28/04/2007
WARSAW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - The time has come to remove Soviet-era monuments in Poland, a Polish public organization said Saturday echoing the Estonian government's decision to remove the Bronze Soldier statue in central Tallinn.

The Katyn Committee which is made up of relatives of Polish officers, who were executed on the orders of the Soviet authorities in the village of Katyn near Smolensk in western Russia in 1940, said just like Estonia Poland "suffered from the Soviet occupation, while Soviet monuments have always been the symbol of slavery and lies, as well as Russian chauvinism."

"The Katyn Committee expresses solidarity with the sovereign government of Estonia and approves its decision to remove the Soviet monuments, sites of the 'Red' empire," the committee said in a statement Saturday. "We are indignant at Russian official statements threatening to cut off diplomatic ties with Estonia."

The committee said that Soviet monuments were used to popularize the idea of the Soviet Army as a liberator of nations. The organization said it was a shame that millions [of Polish zlotys] of taxpayers' money was still spent annually on the conservation and maintenance in Poland of 2,000 Soviet monuments.

In 1940, a few thousand Polish officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland were executed by NKVD officers, the forerunner for the KGB. The Soviet Union admitted the massacre in 1990.

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