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07 July 2022, 19:59

Belarus responds to accusations of bulldozing over mass grave of Polish soldiers

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An archive photo
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An archive photo

MINSK, 7 July (BelTA) – The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Charge d'Affaires of Poland in the Republic of Belarus Martin Wojciechowski on 7 July, the ministry's press service told BelTA.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Due to unmotivated concerns of the Polish side about the situation around a location outside the village of Mikulishki, Oshmyany District, Grodno Oblast, which for some reason Polish mass media describe as a mass grave of Polish soldiers, the charge d'affaires was explained that according to municipal authorities there are no military graves or graves of foreign military personnel in the territory of this populated locality. Belarus very carefully approaches such matters. This is why the legality of territory beautification work in this case has been reaffirmed by the Office of the Prosecutor General and is based on information that there are no human remains and other prohibitive factors.”

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded that soon after becoming the country's president Aleksandr Lukashenko signed decree No.231 “On improving the work to immortalize the memory of defenders of the Fatherland and war victims in the Republic of Belarus” of 30 November 1994. In turn, inhumation procedures are regulated by the law on inhumation and funeral business of 8 January 2015.

“The Republic of Belarus treats all the graves in our land with particular reverence. It is part of the government policy and part of the Christian, humane approach of Belarusians themselves. Nobody can reproach us for desecrating burial grounds, demolishing or damaging monuments the way it is done in a number of neighboring countries. About 30 acts of vandalism have been registered in Poland this year alone. Monuments to people, who gave their lives to free Poland from fascism, were vandalized. The desecration of a mass grave of 620 soldiers in Chrzowice in March 2022 was broadcast live. There were 561 monuments in Poland in 1997 but now there are fewer than 100 of them left,” the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The blood of Belarusians has been shed lavishly not only in Belarus but other countries, the source stressed. “This is why we expect reciprocity as we take care of memory of victims of atrocities regardless of their race, faith, and ideological views,” the ministry said.

“We call upon the Polish side to carefully treat our laws, including in such sensitive matters as the preservation of historic memory. Issues should be resolved through persistent routine work instead of shouts and hysterics. If representatives of Polish leadership have yet to understand the futility of any pressure on Belarus, we are ready to once again urge the Polish side to demonstrate restraint and a respectful approach towards building a dialogue with the Belarusian side,” the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded.

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